EDM 152

I have received a great deal of correspondence recently requesting me to sign Early Day Motion 152, related to NHS Professionals.

As a Parliamentary Private Secretary I strictly cannot by convention sign any Early Day Motions, as doing so is in breach of the Ministerial Code’s rules on collective responsibility.

NHS Professionals, referred to in the Early Day Motion, are the largest single supplier of flexible staffing to the NHS. I believe that it is in all our best interest for the NHS to maintain a flexible workforce; which includes an adequate supply of temporary staff, to meet the shifting needs of our NHS.

This Government is committed to maintaining a healthy supply of permanent and flexible labour to the NHS, to ensure maximum value for the tax-payer. Our agency spend came down last year by 700 million pounds. This was helped in part by NHS Professionals who saved the Government 70 million pounds by providing staff to hospitals at more affordable rates.

The Government’s objective is always to improve patient care and is actions to reduce agency spend is always focused on that objective. We must continue to ensure that our NHS budget is spent 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 do commit to my constituents that I will follow this matter with close attention.