Key role of NHS managers and leaders in very difficult environment

15 January 2023

Responding to the op-ed by Sir Keir Starmer in The Sunday Telegraph on NHS reform, the interim chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:

"There are many causes contributing to the challenges facing the NHS.

"They include a lack of long term investment to match the increasing needs of a growing and ageing population.

"There are also severe and longstanding workforce shortages, while prevention and population health have too often been overlooked and starved of funding.

"NHS managers and leaders have played a crucial role in this very difficult environment, innovating to meet changing needs and adapting services to deal with new and emerging challenges, including the pandemic and rising demand. Compared to similar economies and industries the NHS has a smaller proportion of managers among its workforce.

"The article fails to acknowledge the commitment shown by all NHS staff to patients and their safety through these difficult days, and the huge and continuing personal impact, or 'moral injury' caused by the pressures we have seen during and since the pandemic.

"All this at a time when there are 133,000 vacancies and salaries are falling in real terms due to inflation and other factors."