Health and social care in service England They are heading for “the biggest workforce crisis in its history” which the government has no credible strategy to address, the cross-party Health and Social Care Committee said.
Devastating new research by the Nuffield Trust, carried out in a committee report, shows that the NHS in England is short of 12,000 hospital doctors and more than 50,000 nurses and midwives.
The number of full-time equivalent doctors is also set to fall by more than 700 over the three years to March 2022, while maternity services are operating under “unsustainable pressure”, the report said.
An extra 475,000 jobs in health and an extra 490,000 in social care will be needed by the start of the next decade – projections that are far from what the report claims are government “reluctance to act decisively”. NHS understaffed.
It adds: “The workforce plan promised in the spring has not yet been released and will be ‘framework’ without numbers, which we’re told may follow another report later this year.”
While some progress has been made towards the 50,000 nurse recruitment target, the government is set to meet its target of recruiting 6,000 more GPs as promised in the Conservative party manifesto, MPs have said.
The report said: “Continued understaffing in the NHS now poses a serious risk to staff and patient safety for both routine and emergency care. It is also more expensive because patients present later with more serious disease.
“But what’s most depressing for many on the frontline is the lack of any credible strategy to address it.”
MPs have found that the pressure NHS staff are under to work, and subsequent staff sickness caused by anxiety, stress and depression, is costing the health service millions of full-time equivalent days.
“The result is that many of the exhausted workforce will consider leaving – and if they do, the pressure will increase on their colleagues,” the study said, adding that some simple things are not in place, including access to hot food and drink. Shifts and flexible working.
The report says the government’s “refusal” to release workforce planning data “means that the key question every health worker is asking: are we training enough staff to meet patients’ needs, will remain unanswered”.
NHS pension arrangements have also come under fire in a report which says senior doctors are being forced to cut working hours amid heavy bills.
The report calls for more to be done on social care workers’ pay to encourage staff to stay in NHS jobs.
A separate report by the committee’s panel of independent experts rated the government’s progress on key commitments as “inadequate”.
Jeremy Hunt, chair of the health and social care committee, said: “We are now facing the biggest workforce crisis in history in the NHS and social care, with no idea yet of the number of extra doctors, nurses and other professionals we actually need.
“NHS professionals know there is no silver bullet to solve this problem, but we still need to give them the comfort that there is a plan. This should be the main priority for the new prime minister.”
Almost every part of the NHS suffered Shortage of personneldetermined by the committee.
Around 552 midwives left last year, showing a “clear problem with retention of midwives”, and the report hit out at the government and NHS England for failing to identify when safe maternity staffing is being achieved.
MPs said the failure “shows a lack of responsibility” and was “absolutely unacceptable”.
Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said the report “underlines once again the scale of the workforce crisis now facing both the NHS and social care”.
He said tens of thousands of job vacancies “at last count and a depleted workforce represent one of the greatest challenges to economic recovery and safe, high-quality health care for all.”
Political leaders need to be “brave enough to tell the truth and be honest with the public about the scale of the challenges facing social care and health, and to deal directly with workforce planning and investment”.
“Now is the time for a reality reset on the NHS,” he added.
Patricia Marquis, director of nursing at the Royal College of Nursing in England, said the report’s findings show “the most detailed yet detailed workforce crisis across health and social care in England”.
He said: “These persistent staff shortages in all care settings pose a serious risk to staff and patient safety, prompting ministers to take action.
“On pay, the committee has been very clear that it is unacceptable that some NHS nurses are struggling to feed their families, pay their rent and travel to work.
Unison general secretary Christina Makanea said: “The government has had years to improve the situation in the workforce but has done little.
“Just last week, ministers could have acted to stop the walkout of porters, health care assistants and other NHS staff who are facing pay rises above inflation. But he chose. “
Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Street accused the government of a “complete failure” to tackle the crisis.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said: “We are growing the health and social care workforce, with more than 4,000 more doctors and 9,600 more nurses compared to last year and more than 1,400 doctors in general practice compared to March. 2019 year.
“As we continue to meet our commitment to recruit 50,000 more nurses by 2024, we are also driving £95m of recruitment for maternity services and providing £500m to develop our valuable social workforce, including through training opportunities and new career pathways.
“We have commissioned NHS England to develop a long-term workforce plan to recruit and support NHS staff while they deliver high-quality, safe care to patients and help tackle the Covid backlog.”
‘Permanent’ NHS staff shortage ‘poses serious risk to staff and patient safety’
Source link ‘Permanent’ NHS staff shortage ‘poses serious risk to staff and patient safety’