Responding to the Welsh Conservatives highlighting half a billion pounds has been spent on agency staff in the last four years within the NHS in Wales, Nesta Lloyd-Jones, Assistant Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said:
“The health and social care workforce are by far and away our biggest asset, delivering high quality care to patients across Wales. The last 6 months, through the Coronavirus pandemic, have highlighted how dedicated they are to making sure people in Wales are safe and healthy.
“The NHS is Wales’ biggest employer, currently employing over 98,000 people, and providing a significant contribution to both national and local economies. We are under no illusions that agency spend does need to be reduced. Health Boards and Trusts across Wales are continually looking at ways they reduce agency costs and work closely with Health Education and Improvement Wales to do so.
“Health Education and Improvement Wales have also worked with colleagues in Social Care Wales to develop Wales first ever joint workforce strategy. The draft strategy was developed in partnership with NHS Wales, Local Government and voluntary provider services, and it’s ambition is to have a sustainable workforce across health and social care which meets the needs of people in Wales.
“But, a sustainable workforce is not just about thousands more doctors and nurses. We will need a motivated, engaged and valued healthcare workforce, with the capacity, competence and confidence to respond to an aging population with more complex needs.”