Responding to agency staff being used to fill the short-staffed gaps in the NHS, Matthew Taylor chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“Without a credible long-term workforce plan the fact that NHS leaders have been backed into a corner and feel they have no other choice but to hire agency staff to plug gaps in rotas is unfortunately utterly inevitable.
“With 132,000 NHS staff vacancies at the last count and no concrete indication from government as to how the health service is to meet rising demand and with the waiting list for elective care now standing at 7.1m, using agency staff is often the only option to avoid cancelled appointments and operations for patients.
“With the latest NHS monthly statistics also showing long waiting lists for both cancer treatment and urgent care, NHS staff time and again are being let down.
“NHS staff and leaders need hope that this situation will not drag on into the months and years ahead and want to see the government publish a fully funded and costed workforce plan without delay.”