Backing for staff agency cost cap at Lynn’s QEH

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More than £820,000 has already been spent on hiring agency staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital during the current financial year, it has emerged.

The figure was revealed as new rules capping the amount that hospitals can spend on agency doctors and nurses came into force.

And chief executive Dorothy Hosein has welcomed the measure.

She said: “The agency spend cap covers the whole of the NHS and, in the long run, we anticipate will bring positive results.

“In the interim we continue to ensure that patient safety is a priority and this will not be compromised by any financial restrictions.”

Under the new rules, agency pay rates will be capped to 55 per cent above basic hourly rates from next April. Ministers say the move will save around £1 billion across the NHS.