Letters

I was interested to read John Sloss's letter (12 October), responding to Seamus Ward and Alison Moore's excellent feature on agency nurses ('Do the locum motive', pages 26-30, 28 September).

Mr Sloss makes some pertinent points, although I am surprised by his stance on moving 'the balance of commercial advantage decisively away from nursing agencies'. As he was the co-founder and, until quite recently, director of one of the fastest-growing, most profitable and most expensive nursing agencies in the UK (Thornbury Nursing Service), is this a case of poacher turned gamekeeper or simply a wolf in sheep's clothing?

Apart from wondering how his former colleagues, employees and clients would view this apparent about-face, is he really expecting us to believe that his newly formed alliance with the IT sector is about reducing the slice of the cake consumed by the agencies and nothing to do with carving out an even bigger chunk for himself on the back of the Internet revolution?

Come on, John. Who knows, you may actually have a more efficient system, but don't try portraying yourself as the knight in shining armour, because the shine was put there with the polish of an agency-dependent health sector applied by the many nurses and healthcare workers you employed.

Malcolm Ward Full-time health promotion specialist and occasional agency nurse (Thornbury Nursing Service)

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