• NHS Professionals and EDM 152

    27 September 2017

    Dear Constituent

    Thank you for contacting me about NHS Professionals and Early Day Motion (EDM) 152.

    Members of the Government do not, by convention, sign any Early Day Motions, as doing so is likely to breach the Ministerial Code's rules on collective responsibility. However, I know that NHS Professionals is the largest single supplier of flexible staffing to the NHS. I believe that the NHS should maintain a flexible workforce, with adequate supplies of temporary staff, which can meet the shifting needs of the health service.

    As I understand, the Government wants to maintain a healthy supply of permanent and flexible labour to the NHS, which will tackle agency staffing costs, and ensure maximum value for the taxpayer. I am encouraged to note that agency spend came down by £700 million last year. NHS Professionals helps by saving £70 million a year through supplying staff to hospitals at more affordable rates.

    I would like to assure you that the Government's aim is always to improve patient care. I am sure its actions to reduce agency spend will be focused on that objective, and that every pound of the NHS budget is spend as efficiently as possible.

    Due to the commercially sensitive nature of this process, the Government will not make any specific comment on this issue. However, I have sought further information from the Department of Health. I will continue to follow this matter with interest, and look forward to ensuring that our NHS has the staff that it needs to provide the best possible care.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely

    Mel Stride

    MP for Central Devon

    Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General