Monitor addressed the issue of the cost of employing agency staff, with the RCM suggesting permanent midwives should be paid overtime instead.
Director of policy, employment relations and communications at the RCM, Jon Skewes said: “We appreciate that Monitor listened to some of our concerns but our main points still stand. There is a shortage of 2,600 midwives in England, so the solution to reducing agency staffing is to recruit more midwives.
“In the meantime, the existing workforce is the key to reducing agency staffing. NHS trusts should authorise paying overtime to existing staff to work extra hours rather than spending more money to get staff from an agency.”
According to the RCM, the NHS has spent £3.3 billion on agency staff over the last year.
“We understand that Monitor are trying their best to address the spiralling cost of agency staffing, but this is too little, too late.
“We need an effective and sustainable solution, not a sticking plaster,” Jon Skewes added.
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