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FTs spend £500m on additional staff

FTs spend £500m on additional staff

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Foundation trusts intend to recruit 10,000 more clinical staff to raise the quality of care following damning reports released this year. 

Earlier this month the Keogh review into emergency care revealed “unprecedented” numbers of hospitals failing to meet national targets to ensure that patients wait less than four hours in A&E. 

And the Francis report, released earlier this year, also highlighted the link between staffing levels and poor quality of care. 

The annual review of FT plans shows that trusts are aiming to take on 1,134 permanent consultants, 1,273 junior doctors and 4,133 nurses and midwives in 2013/14. 

It is estimated that the investment will cost an extra £500 million. 

Dr David Bennett, chief executive of the foundation trust regulator Monitor, said: "We are pleased the sector is investing some of its surplus in increasing resources to improve patient care and hope this will relieve some of the operational pressure the NHS is currently facing."

The Annual Plan Review has shown that on-going efficiencies are becoming harder to deliver. Although the sector will be resilient in the short term, some individual trusts could suffer, according to Monitor. 

Last year savings were 21% lower than planned and trusts are revising down their future expectations accordingly.

Stephen Hay, managing director of provider regulation at Monitor, said: “We know that the number of FTs in financial distress has increased, as has the number struggling to meet operational demands.

"However, the outlook on overall funding is uncertain and the spending review has confirmed that financial pressures will increase beyond 2015/16. Our review now suggests the balance of longer term risks has shifted to the downside."

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