Expert report exposes urgent need for government to sort NHS staff shortages

25 July 2022

Responding to a warning by MPs that a persistent NHS understaffing crisis jeopardises patient safety, the interim deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin, said:

"This expert report shows yet again that the NHS just does not have enough staff, a problem compounded by an overstretched and underfunded social care system.

"With over 100,000 job vacancies in trusts, and tens of thousands more right across the health and care system, many staff face unsustainable workloads and 'burnout' as they strive to bring down waiting lists and treat patients as quickly as possible in the face of ever-growing demand.

"The government's failure to fully fund this year's pay package will make it even harder to recruit and keep the health workers we so desperately need.

"And unless we fix our underfunded and stressed social care sector, inextricably linked with the NHS, we will continue to struggle with major knock-on effects for health services.

"Staff and patients' wellbeing is the top priority for NHS trust leaders who are doing everything they can to overcome the serious lack of capacity, but the longstanding severe staff shortages demand urgent action.

"The answer is staring everyone in the face: the government must come up with a fully-funded, long-term workforce plan for the NHS."