Cure staff shortage and investment headaches, trusts urge Barclay and Hunt

25 October 2022

Responding to the appointments today of secretary of state for health and social care and chancellor of the exchequer, NHS Providers' interim chief executive Saffron Cordery said:

"NHS trusts are looking to the health and social care secretary to bring steady leadership and direction as pressure continues to pile upon acute, mental health, community and ambulance services.

"Top of Barclay's priorities must be tackling severe workforce shortages with a long-term, fully costed and funded national plan to secure for the NHS the staff it desperately needs. Without it, existing staff will continue to work under immense pressure, waiting lists will get longer and patient care will suffer.

"And with another major government economic announcement just days away, ministers must address serious issues including the effects of the soaring cost of living on NHS workers and sky-high inflation eating into already stretched NHS budgets. There is also the cost to the NHS of the government's decision not to fully fund staff pay awards, and the damaging delays to the New Hospitals Programme and capital funding to improve safety for patients and staff.

"Underfunded social care needs more support and urgent reform too, not least to free hospital beds by supporting more patients to complete their recovery at or closer to home.

"We urge the prime minister, chancellor and health and social care secretary to work together closely and with trust leaders to help the NHS cope with what threatens to be its toughest ever winter and to give patients first-class care."