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Staffing crisis deepens in NHS England with 110,000 posts unfilled

The NHS is facing a deepening staffing crisis, with the number of unfilled posts across health services in England rising to 110,192, official figures show.

The shortages include 39,652 nurses and 8,158 doctors, according to the latest quarterly data for health service vacancies published by NHS Digital.

The disclosure prompted warnings that the shortage of frontline personnel would lead to longer delays, hit the campaign to cut the 6.1m treatment backlog and undermine quality of care.

Staff groups said they feared that low pay, burnout from heavy workloads and constant pressure during shifts, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, were leading demoralised workers to quit.

“The fact that nursing vacancies remain stubbornly high, at about 40,000 in the NHS in England, is deeply worrying. With every job that remains unfilled, safe patient care becomes even harder to maintain”, said Patricia Marquis, the Royal College of Nursing’s director for England.

Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, said: “The Conservatives’ scrapping of the nursing bursary and failure to fix staffing shortages has been disastrous for the NHS, and patients are paying the price. NHS staff do heroic work but there simply aren’t enough of them. Yet the government still has no plan to fill these positions, meaning patients will continue to wait unacceptable lengths of time for treatment.”

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Source: The Guardian, 3 March 2022


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