NHS England workforce planning ‘not fit for purpose’, says report

NHS England’s workforce planning is “not fit for purpose”, according to a report that found a high turnover of staff was hurting the health service financially and reducing continuity of care.

The Health Foundation found the number of nurses and GPs had fallen at a time when the NHS was struggling to cope with growing demand, although a rise in managers and consultants contributed to an overall increase in the NHS workforce by 2% in the year to April.

In Rising Pressure: the NHS workforce challenge, the charity says that almost a third of staff are leaving some trust each year. This left management fighting and spending huge amounts of money “just to stand still”, it adds.

“This year has been characterised by a series of one-off announcements and initiatives, beset by unrealistic timescales and no overall strategy.

“The challenges and risks ahead for the NHS are well known, and must be met by collective action led by the government to put in place a coherent strategy to provide a sustainable workforce for the NHS.”

The charity found that the number of nurses declined by 0.2% in the year to April, while the number of GPs fell by 0.7% from December to the end of June.

Full story in The Guardian, 30 October 2017