Condemned as SNP incompetence by one-day-a-week Sandesh Gulhane MSP (con) whose experience as a locum was in England, this increase in locum doctor and bank nurse costs doubling in 2021/22, needs to be put into perspective.
The increase is largely the result of Covid absence.
The most recent figure for equivalent cost in NHS England is £6.2 billion for 2019/20, before Covid absences began to climb.
Supporting the NHS to eliminate off-framework spend and helping build a sustainable workforce for the future
Regular readers will remember the sums.
With 10 times the population, all things being equal, the cost in England in 2020/21, should be £4.2 billion but, even before the pandemic, it was £6.2 billion, nearly 50% higher. What will it be for 2020/21 after the absences surge due to Covid?