§ Mr. Steinberg
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the estimated annual cost to the national health service of having agency nurses.
§ Mr. Sackville
The summarised accounts of health authorities in England for 1990–91 (the latest available) record total expenditure on the employment of non-National Health Service (agency etc.) nursing staff as £120.7 million (cash). This represents some 2.2 per cent. of total nursing and midwifery pay costs. The comparable figures for 1989–90 were £135.0 million (cash) and 2.7 per cent. respectively.