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Agency nurses deserve support and respect, nurses told

Delegates at RCN congress heard that agency nurses make a big contribution and should not be demonised
Mike Hayward

Agency nurses have a lot to offer and should be treated with respect, delegates at the RCN congress were told this week.

Yvonne Notman of Lothian branch said that there had been a lot of negative press about the use of agency nurses, and increasing bill for paying for them.

She said that factors behind the increase included poor workforce planning, cost-cutting, and unfilled vacancies, including in the independent sector.

Addressing congress on 19 June, Ms Notman said: The value of agency nursing is often ignored.

She said that agency staff often had vast experience and could be mentors for other nurses. The nurse added that it was important for wards to welcome them properly with appropriate handovers and induction.

We need to respect each other, said Ms Notman.

Mike Hayward, an A&E nurse, said the NHS should do more to encourage its own

Agency nurses have a lot to offer and should be treated with respect, delegates at the RCN congress were told this week.

Yvonne Notman of Lothian branch said that there had been a lot of negative press about the use of agency nurses, and increasing bill for paying for them.

She said that factors behind the increase included poor workforce planning, cost-cutting, and unfilled vacancies, including in the independent sector.

Addressing congress on 19 June, Ms Notman said: ‘The value of agency nursing is often ignored.’

She said that agency staff often had vast experience and could be mentors for other nurses. The nurse added that it was important for wards to welcome them properly with appropriate handovers and induction.

‘We need to respect each other,’ said Ms Notman.

Mike Hayward, an A&E nurse, said the NHS should do more to encourage its own staff to fill shifts, by offering overtime, and remunerating staff at the right pay grade.

Michael Smith from the RCN's national stewards committee said that there were thousands of nurse vacancies in London and that creative ways to get people to stay in the job longer were needed.

Sue Rayment of the RCN district nurses forum said that more needed to be done to make it easier to employ agency nurses. ‘How do we help agency nurses to come to work for us?’ she asked.

‘We had to pay an agency a £5,000 finder’s fee. Is this right when the NHS pays for the training?’

 

Further information:

RCN congress - agency nurse debate

 

 

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