Health boards in the electoral region of South Wales Central spent over £20m on agency nurses in 2019 according to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request obtained by WalesOnline.
Figures show Cardiff and the Vale spent £9,610,204 last year whilst Cwm Taf Morgannwg coughed up a staggering £11,776,000.00 in the same period.
In total, the FOI showed that Wales' health boards had forked out a staggering £69.04m on agency nurses between them last year.
Director of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Wales, Helen Whyley, said unless serious and urgent action is taken by the Welsh Government, agency spending will continue to "spiral out of control".
Commenting on the ‘eye-watering’ sums of money spent by the two health boards in his region, South Wales Central AM, Andrew RT Davies said:
“These are eye-watering sums of money which would be better spent on patient care.
“Agency staff are much more expensive than permanent employees and the two health boards in South Wales must justify why it is continually forking out in this way instead of recruiting the nurses that our hospitals need.
“The problems at Cwm Taf in particular only seem to get worse and the new Chief Executive must get to grips with the situation to restore public confidence in the service and across the region.
“The Welsh Labour Government has been responsible for running the health service over the past 20 years but their policies are clearly not working.
“Staff shortages around Wales are a direct consequence of successive Welsh Labour Health Ministers failing to plan properly for the workforce needs of our NHS; they are clearly not up to the job.”
Notes to editors:
The WalesOnline story can be found here: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/agency-nurses-wales-nhs-health-17777702