I READ with some interest the latest update from Lyn Hill-Tout on how the trust is £1.4m in debt and that the hospital had used only 89 agency nurses in December, compared with 96 in November, from the Thornbury agency.

What she has failed to admit to, is how many other agency nurses were employed by the hospital in the same periods? Thornbury may be the most expensive, but the trust uses them when the other agencies can't supply the staff. How many trained and untrained staff did the trust use from Prestige, Allied Healthcare and BNA, among others, in the same two months? It has to be a minium of 15 agency staff per day! The hospital has its own nurse bank but due to poor morale on some wards and low wages, many won't work on those wards and it's getting to the stage that some agency staff won't work on them either. It's left to Thornbury staff to fill in the shifts that others won't.

A O'Brien,