The UK’s National Health Service is facing the ‘biggest jobs crisis’ in its history

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is facing the “biggest jobs crisis” in its history, according to a report from Parliament’s Health Care Social Welfare Committee, published on Monday.

The report criticizes the “lack of a credible government strategy” to deal with the crisis and points to severe labor shortages in almost all sectors.

The committee is chaired by Jeremy Hunt, Conservative MP and former health minister.

According to Hunt, the government “has no idea yet how many doctors, nurses and other additional professionals it really needs”.

Noting that NHS health workers are still recovering from the pandemic, Hunt said the government “should at least give them reassurance that there is a plan” and stated that “this should be a priority for the new prime minister”.

The report notes that the health workforce crisis is actually worse than official figures suggest, explaining that “the ongoing NHS staff shortage now represents a serious risk to staff and patient safety, both for routine care such as emergency”.

In this regard, the report referred in particular to the risks to patient safety due to the lack of a sufficient number of workers “in maternity services”.

Last year, the government acknowledged that the NHS needed an additional 2,000 midwives and 500 obstetricians. However, the report says the NHS “lost 552 midwives between March 2021 and March 2022” and stresses that Health Minister Sajid Javid has yet to set a date for filling the gap.

One solution the commission is proposing is to reform doctors’ pensions, a problem that causes some doctors to reduce work or leave the NHS entirely.

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In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said they “greatly value and appreciate the dedication and contribution of the NHS and social care staff” and “are increasing the health and social care workforce with more than 4,000 physicians, 9,600 nurses additions compared to last year, and more than 1,400 general practitioners.” Compared to March 2019.

The spokesperson confirmed that they are continuing to “fulfill our commitment to employ an additional 50,000 nurses by 2024” and explained that they are also “implementing a £95 million (about $114.5) recruitment drive for maternity services and an allocation of £500 million (about $603 million) to develop” valuable workforce, including through training opportunities and new career paths.

In addition, the spokesperson stated that they have tasked the NHS with “developing a long-term staffing plan to recruit and support its ‘staff’ while providing safe, high-quality care to patients and helping to end COVID-19 delays.”

* Translated by Daniel Gallego.
Anadolu Agency website contains only part of the news stories presented to subscribers on the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summary.

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