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Gordon criticises Tory Government's failure on increased NHS agency spend

Gordon has criticised the Tory Government over their failure to tackle the problems around the increased costs in NHS agency bills, which nationally has risen from £1.8 billion to £3.3 billion over the past three years. 

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He said the Government should bear responsibility for the huge bill but also for the failure to get a proper training strategy and scheme in place so hospital trusts were in a better position to take on more prospective doctors and nurses. 

Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette, Gordon said: "These are figures that are disturbing, concerning and we need to address them. It's extremely rich of Jeremy Hunt to be waving his hands at a time like this in the first place. 

"We've failed to have a proper training scheme and strategy for training doctors and nurses in the UK over the past five years. His party have contributed to the problems we have."

His comments come at a time when the Government announced they were looking at a cap on the amount agencies could charge hospitals to provide staff. 

Gordon added: "There needs to be action taken so that the agencies don't abuse their power. We need to ensure that we have more full time staff within the NHS.

"If the Government is serious about resolving the problem, we need to have a proper solution and strategy in place. We need a strategy to train and skill permanent people in the NHS.

"They have failed to do this in the past five years and they should have a bit more humility about how they deal with the problem." 

Unison's North West's Head of Health, Amy Barringer echoed Gordon's comments around training, describing it as a "big error" of the previous Tory-led Government to cut the provision of training for nurses in 2010. 

Official figures from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust show that £15.3 million was spent on agency and contract staff in 2013/14, compared to £12 million ending in the year ending March 2013. 

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