MPs warn that the worst NHS staffing crisis in its history is putting patients at serious risk

The NHS is facing “the greatest workforce crisis” in its history which is putting patients at serious risk of harm, an influential group of MPs warns.

In its report, the cross-party Commons health and social care select committee slams the “absence of a credible government strategy” on NHS-wide understaffing and criticises ministers for delaying a blueprint it says is urgently needed to address critical gaps in almost every area of care.

The hard-hitting report includes evidence showing that the staffing crisis in the NHS in England is even worse than official figures suggest. NHS Digital figures suggest that the service has vacancies for 38,972 nurses and 8,016 doctors. However, the real figures could be as high as 50,000 and 12,000 respectively, according to estimates the Nuffield Trust prepared for the MPs.

The trust’s analysis accords with the view of many frontline doctors and managers that some posts are not advertised, and thus not picked up by the statistical agency, because hospitals cannot afford to fill them, even if suitable doctors or nurses are identified.

Full story in The Guardian, 25 July 2022