MPs in UK have warned that the NHS and care staff in the country are so burnt out that it has now become an emergency and poses risk to the future of health service.
According to a highly critical report, the staff were overstretched and exhausted because of the shortage of workers. It also cited that these problems prevailed even before the pandemic. However, the COVID-19 crisis has deteriorated the situation.
A staff survey conducted by the NHS in 2020 suggests that 44% of employees reported feeling unwell due to work-related stress during the previous year.
Last July, the health and social care committee chaired by former health secretary Jeremy Hunt and comprising of MPs had reportedly launched an inquiry to look into the matter and understand how burnt out NHS employees were.
The report published by the committee stated that one of the main concerns was the lack of precise forecast on how many staff the NHS required for next 5 to 10 years. The committee called it workforce planning.
It mentioned that the way NHS does workforce planning needs a complete overhaul and there should be annual reports on how many employees NHS would require in the upcoming 5, 10 and 20 years. The workforce planning has clearly been directed by the funding provided for health and social care instead of demand and capacity needed to meet that demand, the report added.
Before the pandemic started, the NHS reportedly faced shortages of 1 in 10 or 1 in 12 workers, with around 50,000 nursing roles unfilled. In addition, in adult social care, 7.3% of posts had apparently been vacant through FY 2019-20 which is equivalent to almost 112,000 vacancies at any given time.
Commenting on the matter, Hunt stated that there were not enough nurses or doctors in almost every medical specialty. However, addressing the issue was never much on the government’s priority as the number of years required for training the staff meant immediate results cannot be obtained.
Source credits: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57395232