Sharp rise in spending on A&E locum doctors

Freedom of Information requests submitted by the Labour Party have found that spending on locum doctors to work in A&E units has risen by 60% in three years, from £52 million in 2009-10 to £83.3 million last year. Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter noted that this problem was “first flagged up in 2004” and that as it takes six years to train A&E doctors this “well pre-dates the current Government.” However, Dr Cliff Mann, President of the College of Emergency Medicine argued that such spending “is not an efficient way of spending NHS money and can be damaging for morale when doctors work alongside each other, sometimes less qualified doctors, who are earning much more”.