Summary

Care providers will turn to an agency if they are short-staffed or cannot recruit people with the required qualifications and competencies to carry out specific roles. Regulators accept the necessity for employing agency workers, but recommend that they should be used as contingencies and should not depend on agencies to meet their normal staffing requirements.

This view is independent of the costs that would be incurred and based on the importance of ensuring that there is continuity of care, which cannot be provided by over-reliance on temporary workers, who may change because, for example, an agency might need to deploy them elsewhere.

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