The NHS England is facing the challenge of staff shortages. Significantly, the issue has now turned into a crisis as there are far too many unfilled positions in NHS. The number of vacant positions rose to 110,192 across health services in England.
According to latest quarterly data for health services, there exist a shortage of 40,000 nurses and more than 8,000 doctors. One in 10 nursing positions is empty as are one in 17 doctors’ jobs. Currently, England have a 6.1 million treatment backlog. Importantly, the shortage of frontline healthcare workers will impact the services and will cause delays in rendering quality services. “The fact that nursing vacancies remain stubbornly high, at about 40,000 in the NHS in England, is deeply worrying. With every job that remains unfilled, safe patient care becomes even harder to maintain”. Patricia Marquis, the Royal College of Nursing’s director for England said in her statement.
Challenges for workers
Various staff groups have registered their concerns. They feared that low pay, burnout from heavy workloads and constant pressure during shifts may have a negative impact on worker health. Moreover, the risks associated with coronavirus also led demoralized workers to quit their jobs. A record number of more than 400 workers in England have left the NHS every week during the last year. The reason was to restore their work-life balance. This is according to a new analysis of the workforce crisis hitting the health service.
Challenges for government
The government is under immense pressure to publish their long-term NHS workforce plan to curb the understaffing. Ministers must also disclose progress of their plans to hire the right number of workers. Now, the current stats have confirmed the deepening crisis of staffing in the healthcare sector. Doctor shortage is worst in the Midlands where one in 11 posts are vacant. Moreover, The Midlands is short of 1,678 medics to work in acute care, an 8% vacancy rate.
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