NHS trusts in England pay almost fifty pounds per hour for agency midwives when the normal rate of pay for a Band 6 midwife with ten years’ experience is £17.84 an hour.
Today The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) released findings of a report into the cost of agency staff. The report entitled ‘Spending On Agency Midwives in England’ is a result of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request that the RCM sent to 136 NHS trusts in England last year about their spend on agency midwives.
The FOI had a response rate of over 95 per-cent with 130 trusts responding and found that over 73 per-cent of trusts in London with maternity services rely on agency midwives to staff their services.
- The spend on agency midwives increased from £10,159,099 in 2012 to £17,849,767 in 2014; an increase of almost 76 per-cent.
- In July 2015 the RCM also surveyed its members; respondents said they were paid £22.84 an hour. The earlier FOI revealed that trusts reported that this spend per hour was £49.01 in 2014. (Indicating that half of the spend per hour for midwives goes on agency fees and other on-costs.)
- There were eleven trusts that spent over £1 million on agency midwives in the three year period with one trust spending £4,482,432 on agency midwives between 2012-2014.
- The spend per hour of £49.01 is more than 2.7 times the amount for a permanently employed midwife and more than 1.8 times the amount of paying overtime.
Full report at The Royal College of Midwives 23 January 2016