Agency nurses not only cost the NHS a fortune, they are parachuted in and add to the general chaos minsters like me visiting our parishioners saw in our deplorable weekend hospitals.
Surely the human resources department in each hospital or trust can keep a register of nursing staff to be contacted in case of need in the way colleges and schools have always done.
I knew nurses who had left for various family reasons or were recently retired who were familiar with our main hospitals and would have loved occasional shifts.
Alternatively, the NHS could have its own, independently run agency, which would charge individual hospitals commercial rates with all profits accruing to the health services.
(Rev Dr) John Cameron