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Money could pay for 66,000 qualified registered nurses to fill shortfall, according to research by the Open University

The NHS is spending almost £1.5bn a year on temporary nursing staff to cope with shortages, research has found.

The NHS has a shortfall of 40,000 nurses in England, according to the Royal College of Nursing. A report from the Open University, Tackling the nursing shortage, argues that the £1.46bn being spent on temporary staffing to plug the gaps could pay for 66,000 qualified registered nurses.

NHS trusts paid for an additional 79m hours of registered nurses’ time at a premium rate in 2017, which is 61% above the hourly rate of a newly qualified registered nurse in full-time employment. If existing gaps were permanently filled, trusts could save as much as £560m a year, the report states.

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The Guardian

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