The trust behind Blackpool Victoria Hospital spent more than £1m last year on employing emergency locum doctors, figures show.
Numbers obtained by the Labour Party under a Freedom of Information request, which are disputed by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, show the trust spent £1,054,331 on temporary doctors to cover its Emergency department between 2012 and 2013. The figure is up 47 per cent from the £714,891 spent between 2009 and 2010.
But the Trust says by its own figures it actually spent 4.3 per cent less on agency staff in three years. However, these figures have not been made available to The Gazette.
Director of operations for the trust, Pat Oliver, said more full time consultants may be employed.
She said: “It is believed that a consultant-led service will not only be more cost effective once fully implemented but will have a significant impact on improving the quality and safety of service delivered.
“We are constantly monitoring and reviewing our staff mix in relation to the demands on the service to ensure the highest quality of care for our patients.”
Referring to the Labour figures, the party’s candidate for Fleetwood Cat Smith: “People tell me how much they want to protect local services here in the town.
“At the same time we see Blackpool’s NHS trust, which covers Fleetwood Hospital and Rossall Rehabilitation Unit, spending more money on locums in A&E.”