Workforce shortages and budget crisis push the NHS to the limit

Survey of 19 Integrated Care Boards (part 2 of 2), Key points:

(West Midlands, South East and South West of the country – 19 ICBs)

  1. Workforce pressure continues to push “trust leaders to the limit” with difficult choices.
  2. Pressure on leaders to avoid deficits is stalling progress and leading to discussions about cuts.
  3. ICBs are flagging up a “risk to life” and falling standards of patient care.

The second part of a Lowdown national survey of ICB papers highlights the problems that a lack of staff continues to cause for patients and staff, with only a minority of ICBs celebrating progress in the recruitment of new staff and in reducing the number of high-cost agency staff needed.

Every one of the 19 ICBs in the second part of our survey stated that they have ‘workforce challenges’, and reported efforts to fill vacancies, including with international recruitment, to maintain staff numbers and patient safety, while simultaneously reducing the use of agency and bank staff.

Full story in The Lowdown, 16 May 2024