Trust more dependent on dearer nurses

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The Western Trust’s dependency of more expensive agency nurses has almost doubled over the past three years.

Between 2012 and 2015 the local health authority spent a total of £6.6m on agency staff.

But expenditure has risen steadily.

The Trust spent £1.6m in 2012/13. This rose to £2.2m in 2013/14.

And last year it had risen to £2.8m.

The outgoing Health Minister Simon Hamilton revealed the information in response to an Assembly Question before he stepped aside from his post following the Stormont crisis.