England: workforce burnout at emergency levels, says committee

23 July 2021

A report by the Health and Social Care Committee (HSCC) suggests that the future functioning of services is at grave risk, and calls for an overhaul of workforce planning.

The HSCC’s inquiry into workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care identified staff shortages as the biggest cause of burnout. And although Covid-19 impacted on the workforce immensely, the committee was informed of serious staff shortages prior to the pandemic.

NHS workforce planning was at best opaque and at worst responsible for unacceptable pressure on staff. The report concludes that available funding was the driver behind planning, rather than the level of demand and staffing capacity needed to service it.

HSCC chair Jeremy Hunt MP said: ‘Achieving a long-term solution demands a complete overhaul of workforce planning.’

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