Nurses recruited from agencies could be putting National Health Service (NHS) patients at risk, according to a study by the audit commission released on 5 September.
The report, called Brief Encounters, warned checks on agency nurses were not efficient enough.
Temporary staff cover ten per cent of all shifts and often have no previous experience of areas in which they are placed.
The report said: “The circumstances in which temporary staff are booked and carry out their duties are sometimes less than ideal. They increase the risk of something going wrong.”
Health minister John Hutton said the NHS will soon be able to rely on its own in-house agency, NHS Professionals, rather than commercial agencies.