Bill Wiggin MP stood up in the House of Commons to argue for central reporting and registration of agency staff employed by NHS trusts, services and facilities.
Bill Wiggin MP, for North Herefordshire, presented a 10 Minute Rule Motion in Parliament on Tuesday 18th October, in a bid to help the Government in its work to limit increasing privatisation in the NHS.
Mr Wiggin believes the motion will save money for the Wye Valley NHS trust and Trusts across the country, as well as helping to redirect funds to help patients in needier areas.
Bill Wiggin MP said:
“I want to support and congratulate the Government in its work to limit the increasing privatisation of the NHS because I am against the principle that private agencies can control the NHS spending, and because I do not want the NHS open to abuse, which can be the case under our current system.
I propose that a database of all workers within the NHS, agency and direct employees, exists, and takes notes of when they are working or claiming sick pay”
Speaking about the current reliance on agency workers, Bill Wiggin MP said:
“Permanent NHS staff struggle to fill certain gaps in their staff, either due to a lack of individuals, or a lack of specific skills. This is a particular problem in rural areas.”
“The Government’s work to cap the amount paid to agencies for their staff in NHS organisations is so important. So far in 2015-16 this price cap has saved £300 million”
Bill Wiggin MP said of the 10 Minute Rule Bill:
“In order to support the excellent work that the Government is doing to support the NHS, I would like to put this 10 Minute Bill before the House, requiring agency staff to be centrally registered on the NHS, including their sick days.
Staff can be employed directly with an NHS Trust, and also registered with an agency. These two employers do not share information about their workers, even though the agency workers are based in NHS organisations.
Whilst the vast majority of workers who are employed by both such organisations are honest, hard-working people, there are inevitably always a few that seek to abuse the system.
The NHS is aware of the risk of abuse to the payroll and sick leave fraud. However, without a central system of data sharing between bodies that make up the NHS, the organisations can only rely on hear-say from memb
ers to report abuse of the system.
This is of course a good starting point, but it does not eliminate the risk of fraudulent activities and we need this money to be saved for patients.
We need to combat those taking advantage of our system, by making information more accessible to employers about their employees, so that they are paid fairly, but the NHS does not suffer unnecessarily”
This Bill would support the Government’s hard work in reducing necessary costs to the NHS, by making harder for those taking advantage of the current system to do so.
The Bill would register all agency staff used across the NHS, which is kept centrally and this register will include when those staff are off sick and claiming sick pay.”
Bill Wiggin MP concluded:
“People talk against privatisation of the NHS, yet it is exactly what will happen if the NHS loses control of its staff requirements. It is the agencies who are providing the staff our patients need for their safety. This must be controlled, otherwise we will never be able to achieve the worthy target of getting the right pay, for the right people, doing the right jobs, and our NHS staff deserve no less.”