Valerie raises NHS temporary staff at Leader of the House.

On Thursday 15th October 2015, I asked the Leader of the House.

Valerie Vaz (Walsall South) (Lab): Given the Care Quality Commission’s report on hospital safety and the £3.3 billion bill for NHS temporary staff, may we have an urgent debate on the skills shortage in the NHS? The University of Wolverhampton, some of which is in my constituency, has said that it has had 5,000 applications for 500 nursing places. Supply could easily meet demand locally without having to go abroad.

Chris Grayling: I am well aware of the pressures in different parts of the health service and I pay tribute to our healthcare professionals. We are announcing measures today to try to ease pressures on nursing. In my view, today’s CQC report is a positive in that it is part of a drive by this Government to push up standards. If we do not look at where challenges remain to be addressed, we will never be able to address them. Fantastic care is provided across many parts of the national health service, but where it is not fulfilling its full potential we obviously have to know about it and work to improve it.