“Staff shortages have left the NHS running on empty throughout the pandemic. The government showed blatant disregard for the early warning signs, and its continued refusal to publish an independent assessment of workforce numbers counts as wilful negligence.
“A properly-funded staffing plan is the single most important step ministers can take to relieve pressures over the next few years. The NHS must be given what’s necessary to boost employee numbers across all disciplines.
“The government should also draw up measures to attract new recruits and stop the exodus of existing staff. Any package of incentives must include better pay, conditions and training support.
“Making these commitments now won’t sort the immediate issues facing the NHS. But it would reassure staff that they won’t have to work through endless repeats of this unresolved crisis.”
Notes to editors:
– A recent UNISON survey found that three in every ten existing health workers are actively looking to leave the service.
– 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 the public, voluntary and private sectors.