NHS cannot deliver long-term plan without more staff, MP warns

NHS cannot deliver long term-plan without more staff, MP warn

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The NHS will not be able to deliver its long-term plan without recruiting more staff, an MP has warned. 

Chair of the Public Accounts Committee has said that staff shortages are “the NHS’s biggest crisis”.

Meg Hillier told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “Lots of NHS staff are finding that they cannot do what they set out to do – trained to do – and that is putting them off from staying.”

The NHS long-term plan was published in January, after the Government committed to an extra £20.5 billion in funding per year by 2023-24.

There are currently around 100,000 vacancies across the NHS, according to a report by the PAC.

The Labour MP added: “This is the NHS’s biggest crisis. They cannot recruit. We need to have people coming from overseas to fill the gap in the short term.

“We need to be training more people but that takes time. We also need to keep more staff. None of this extra money is going into NHS education.”

The report warned that expecting retention rates to improve or for more staff to join from abroad was a "risky strategy", with the UK's exit from the EU potentially complicating matters further.

Ms Hillier suggested that the current situation within the NHS would make overseas recruits uncertain about working in the health care system.

A "lack of clarity" on adult social care funding was also highlighted as a concern.

The MP said that the government’s long-term plan did not address concerns surrounding social care.

“It is also not paying for social care or public health,” she said.

“It is also not paying for the upkeep of buildings. We have had very little investment in buildings and equipment – that adds to the pressures.”

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