Medicine

NHS Could Be Short Of 350,000 Staff By 2030, Think Tank Warns

NHS Could Be Short Of 350,000 Staff By 2030, Think Tank Warns

A briefing published today by the King's Fund, the Health Foundation and the Nuffield Trust warns that waiting lists will grow, the quality of care will deteriorate and money pledged for frontline services in the Budget will go unspent. The NHS employs about 1.2 million people.

"Unless new NHS staff can quickly be recruited and trained, the NHS simply will not have the workers available to meet the demand for healthcare expected over the next decade".

This could mean that more than one in six health service posts are left unfilled.

The staffing crisis in the NHS is deepening so fast that the service could be short of 350,000 key personnel by 2030, health experts have warned.

"This will allow people to receive the care they need at the right time and in the right setting, with a focus on community-based, preventative care".

NHS staff shortages could triple in a decade, without a radical boost to recruitment efforts, major thinktanks have warned.

The report said funding for education and training dropped from five per cent of health spending in 2006-7 to three per cent in 2018-19, the equivalent of a £2bn drop.

Richard Murray, policy director at the King's Fund, told the Press Association the NHS had less than a year to address the problem.

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He continued: "Standing at a crossroads, the NHS needs to decide whether it wants to develop a 10-year plan for patients or for providers".

Address inequalities in recruitment, pay and career progression.

Shadow Health Secretary Miles Briggs MSP said: "This is a damning report from the Auditor General into how financial planning is being undertaken within health and social care integration". This should involve a much more coherent and transparent approach to planning and strategy development. The three think tanks argue that the interdependence of the two sectors means that any attempt to tackle one area must be accompanied by plans to address workforce problems in the other.

"The NHS is overstretched and services are being compromised by serious staff shortages".

"If you wait another 12 months the problem is just getting worse".

But if the service continues to lose staff and cannot attract skilled workers from overseas the shortage could be as high as 350,000, more than a quarter of the current 1.2m workforce.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: "The NHS runs on the dedication of its workforce and ensuring we have the right staff in the right place is the only way we can guarantee the future of the health service". To put it in perspective, 350,000 people is more than the population of Coventry.


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