Public sector employers are preparing to hire at the fastest pace since 2015, as NHS staff shortages and the rejection of austerity at the election encourages managers to recruit more workers | The NHS will try to cut £300m from its annual pharmaceuticals bill by using cheaper alternatives to the most expensive drugs | NHS Highland’s annual bill for private home care has almost doubled to £9m in three years.

The government has stopped the sale of NHS Professionals; the state-owned agency that supplies more than 90,000 doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers to the health service | Locum GPs could be paying thousands of pounds in ‘unfair’ tax payments, the Locum Doctors’ Union (LDU) has said, as it released guidance advising locums how to navigate IR35 tax rules with providers | The Scottish government will scrap the one percent cap on public sector pay, opening the possibility of real-terms pay increases for GPs next year.

NHS trusts in England ended last year with an overspend almost £3bn more than previously reported after temporary funding boosts and one-off savings were stripped out, according to new analysis | The NHS is “leaking” money to private companies in contracts to build and run hospitals, a report says | Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust bosses paid out £1.6m on temporary workers in June, up £249,000 from the previous month.

The NHS has been accused of keeping the public in the dark about controversial plans to plug a £250m funding gap by rationing services | GP full-time equivalent (FTE) numbers for England have risen slowly in the past quarter but doctors’ leaders have said the one per cent rise is too little and too slow | Staffing levels within Northern Ireland’s crisis-hit health service are expected to be cut in a desperate bid to save £70m by March.

More than nine in 10 of England’s 50 largest NHS hospital trusts are not staffed with nurses to the level planned by their own management | NHS England has decided to hold back money that would have otherwise trickled down to CCG finances because it is “simply not an option” for commissioners to dodge contributing to a system risk reserve | New figures show that spending on agency nurses in Lanarkshire has increased massively since 2010 – soaring by 14,000 per cent.