Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, has warned that the NHS is facing severe staff retention issues, with many opting for roles outside the NHS. To those working with the NHS, it is clear that these pressures have been growing for some time as a result of restraints in government spending more generally, and this is putting quality of care at risk as providers turn to temporary staff to fill posts. Improvements in efficiencies are helping, but not enough.
And the economic and political headwinds of Brexit could exacerbate this situation... higher inflation caused by the pound's devaluation will decrease real wages further, a decrease in GDP could reduce the tax take to fund NHS salaries, and any restrictions on foreign workers coming into the UK will put upward pressure on salaries to attract the right staff.
The health secretary after 8 June is facing a rocky road ahead.
NHS staff are opting to stack shelves in supermarkets rather than work in healthcare because of years of poor pay rises. This is the message from Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, who said workforce concerns are now the number one NHS priority. Hopson said: “Growing problems of recruitment and retention are making it harder for trusts to ensure patient safety. Unsustainable staffing gaps are quickly opening up in hospitals, mental health and community trusts and ambulance services.