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Nurses top of agency pay rates

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The Conservatives claim to have uncovered evidence of trusts paying an agency nurses more than £120 an hour.

The political party carried out a Freedom of Information Act request on hourly rates paid to agency staff across a broad range of professions in the NHS over the last 12 months.

The highest example identified was a trust in Berkshire that paid an agency nurse £121.59 an hour but the figures also revealed a £121.10 hourly rate for a nurse in Chesterfield and Royal NHS Trust and £111.96 for a nurse at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. This compares with the £15.66 average rate for agency nursing staff.

The highest rate paid to non-clinical staff was £119 per hour for a turnaround director for a Coventry trust in financial difficulties.

Conservative health spokesperson Andrew Lansley said: ‘Labour’s chaotic, short-term planning has let down NHS staff. It’s incredible that agency staff can be paid such high hourly rates when jobs are being cut at the same time.’

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