NHS bosses are threatening to reveal which NHS Trusts are spending the most on agency staff, in a bid to increase savings.

NHS Improvement, which oversees providers of NHS-funded care, hopes that naming and shaming hospitals will reduce the amount spent on agency workers.

The NHS has come under intense criticism in recent years for relying on agency staff, who are much more expensive than those on the pay-roll due to factors such as agency fees.

Last year alone the NHS poured £3.6bn into hiring agency staff, which was described by NHS England boss Simon Stevens as a ‘rip-off’.

In an effort to cut spending, a cap was introduced that limits hospitals, ambulance services and mental health trusts from paying more than 55% of a normal shift rate.

The cap applies to doctors, nurses, paramedics and administration staff, but does not apply to senior managers.

Since being introduced in October 2015, £600m has been saved. NHS Improvement aims to bring down the annual bill by £1bn by the end of the financial year.

However, the regulator says it is behind schedule and is 10% down on where they hoped to be at this point in time.

It has now said that league tables will soon be published, showing which NHS Trusts are spending the most on agency staff.

Details of the highest-earning agency workers will also be obtained, as there are concerns that some people are not adhering to the cap.

NHS Improvement discovered one NHS hospital was told a surgeon would cost £130 an hour, even though the cap is £76 an hour. Another was quoted £70 an hour for a junior doctor when it is supposed to be £35 an hour.

Jim Mackey, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: “The NHS simply doesn’t have the money to keep forking out for hugely expensive agency staff. There’s much more to be done.”

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