Labour diagnoses NHS staffing move

The NHS is using an increasing number of zero hour contracts which could lead to “casualisation” of the workforce in the health service, Labour has warned.

Almost 70,000 NHS staff are employed using such contracts, under which workers are not guaranteed a certain numbers of hours, figures suggest.

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham raised concerns that the NHS was increasingly favouring casual contracts over offering permanent roles.

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Labour’s latest NHS Check report showed that in 2012/13 there were more than 67,000 NHS staff employed this way compared to 57,000 in 2009/10.

The report also detailed how three-quarters of hospital trusts in England were using such contracts.

It also stated that 300,000 social care workers were employed this way – 20 per cent of the entire workforce for the sector.

The report stated: “If the staff do not have the security of knowing what they will earn from week to week, they could find it harder to give a sense of security to those they care for.”