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  • National Voices: Joint statement on workforce challenges across health and social care (6 April 2023)

    • UK
    • Reports and articles
    • Pre-existing
    • Original author
    • No
    • National Voices
    • 06/04/23
    • Everyone


    In this joint statement, National Voices, a coalition of health and social care charities in England, supported by 82 charities and professional bodies, call on the Government to act on the serious challenges faced by the NHS and social care workforce, which it states are badly impacting upon people’s experience of health and care. Patient Safety Learning is one of the signatories of this statement.


    The statement reads as follows (the full list of signatories can be found on the National Voices website):

    We have come together as a coalition of patient charities and professional bodies to call on the Government to commit to a serious, comprehensive and fully-resourced response to workforce challenges across health and care, which are now badly impacting people’s experience of health and care.

    The current workforce crisis has been developing over decades across the health and care system. While the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath have left many staff feeling burnt out, challenges with recruitment and retention across health and care long pre-date the pandemic. They have real, life and death, implications for people and communities up and down the country. 

    The impacts of the workforce crisis are felt from cradle to grave, and from diagnosis, through treatment to after care. Gaps in General Practice, secondary care, community-based support, mental health services, and social care impact across every patient group, and are particularly felt in already underserved communities. Too often the debate on staffing health and care happens without people who use these services in the room. 

    As patient groups we are vocal about the changes we want to see in health and care, including when we need more or better from our health and care staff. But we also know that the changes we want can’t be delivered by staff who are under-supported, over-stretched, and (increasingly) planning to leave. We need an NHS that works for everyone, but we will not get that as long as it is underfunded and under-resourced.

    The Government’s response on workforce to date has been far from proportionate to the scale of the challenges faced. As a result, people’s experiences of health and care are getting worse, and, as recent analysis of the British Social Attitudes survey demonstrated, confidence in the health and care system is faltering.

    Together with professional bodies, we reject narratives that pit the workforce against the people who use health and care services. Many of us are, or will at some point be, both patients and staff members of these services. The health and wellbeing of our communities is enhanced when health and care services offer good work to local people.

    It is critical that the long-anticipated NHS workforce plan is fully-funded, clearly sets out the workforce numbers required, and is built on the needs and aspirations of people who use health and social care services both now and in the future. It must be designed and delivered with the diverse range of people who work in health and care services and who use them.  

    Health and care professionals must have the time, energy and training they need to deliver personalised care and support that focusses on what matters to us, rather than what is the matter with us. 

    We ask the Government to treat this challenge with the urgency, seriousness and resource it deserves.

    National Voices: Joint statement on workforce challenges across health and social care (6 April 2023) https://www.nationalvoices.org.uk/news-media/news-item/joint-statement-workforce-challenges-across-health-and-care
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