Queen’s Hospital’s NHS trust spends £47 an hour on agency staff ... and misses government targets

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 December 2016

Queen's Hospital

Queen's Hospital


The NHS trust which serves Havering is forking out up to £47 an hour for agency staff, and failing to meet government pay targets for locum doctors.

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request revealed that between 21 September and 9 October, the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) spent more than £1.5million on temporary workers.

In that two-and-a-half week period the trust, which runs Queen’s Hospital, in Romford, used 613 agency personnel, who worked 32,867 hours.

On top of that BHRUT has failed to meet the government’s agency price caps, which limits the amount locum doctors and other temporary workers can be paid above staff wages.

Agency doctors are used when hospitals are short of staff, and they usually receive higher pay that workers on annual contracts.

But in November last year the NHS Improvement Agency put a limit on how much more temporary staff be paid.

Locum wages were capped at 150 per cent on top of a normal junior doctor’s salary, and this was decreased to 55pc in April, yet BHRUT has breached these caps more than 100 times every week since they were introduced.

“The safety of our patients is our highest priority and in some cases, to ensure we’ve got the right numbers of staff to look after them, we do need to use agency staff,” said Jeff Buggle, finance director at BHRUT.

“We know we have more to do to bring down what we spend on agency staff.

“We’ve increased the number of roles filled over the last 12 months and when we do need to bring in additional staff, we always look to our own internal bank of staff before going to an agency.”

A further FoI revealed that the trust has estimated that 27 job positions – ranging from the cardiology department to paediatric staff – have remained unfilled since April 2013.

Mr Buggle told the Recorder that BHRUT is putting together a two year nursing recruitment strategy and has already successfully added an extra 55 nurses and midwives over the past two months.

He added that next year the trust will recruit emergency consultants from South Africa.

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

The London Borough of Havering have for decades paid more for our services than inner London areas who have received much larger grants from central government, compared to outer London areas.

Yesterday, 15:00

The creation of the National Health Service in 1948 was not universally welcomed, as Prof Ged Martin discovered

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Fri, 17:30

A musical variety group that spent more than 50 years performing in hospitals and care homes, still meets up to reminisce about the days of musical festivities and fundraising.

Fri, 17:28

Police in Hertfordshire are appealing to members of the public in Havering for help in tracking down a wanted man they believe is in the Romford area.

Fri, 16:40

These are the Havering roads to miss next week if you don’t want to risk delays.

Fri, 16:09

Rats swarming in and out of bin bags, roaming confidently across front gardens and gnawing their way through fences.


Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now