Recruitment agencies have an obligation to make sure that people hired for public sector jobs in the medical industry have a duty of care.

That is according to Tom Hadley, the director of policy and professional services at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), who said that the organisation is committed to working alongside the government to ensure that all agencies meet the highest standards in recruiting.

Research published by the Scottish government last month revealed that locum doctors are costing the NHS £36 million every year, having doubled in the last four years.

Mr Hadley believes that the increased need for locum doctors in the NHS does not mean standards can slip in recruiting.

“The duty of care must be an absolute priority for recruitment agencies providing medical staff to the healthcare sector,” he said.

“In all cases, it is crucial that there is effective communication between trusts and agencies supplying key front line staff on a flexible basis.”