Proper investment in wages and apprenticeships will help ease NHS staffing crisis, says UNISON

Response to major report into health service and care workforce

Commenting on the report on the NHS and care workforce published by the Nuffield Trust, the King’s Fund and the Health Foundation today (Thursday), UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“Unless real efforts are made to attract new recruits and stop experienced health workers from leaving, today’s staffing gap problems will still be felt across the entire NHS for years to come.

“Pay and better training are key. Last year’s three-year deal has started to make a real difference but the investment behind it cannot be a one-off. Future governments will need to keep NHS wages competitive and be prepared to put in the necessary resources.

“Attracting graduates into the NHS is important but so is the stream of potential talent that can be trained into higher-skilled jobs via apprenticeships.

“Staff in lower paid jobs know the environments they work in and as apprentices, they can move into nursing and other professional roles to ease local staffing pressures. But the model needs central funding and a relaxation of the rigid levy rules to make it work for staff and patients.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.

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