Responding to the findings of a census by the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, which shows that physician vacancies are at their highest level in almost a decade, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers (part of the NHS Confederation), said:
"These findings yet again confirm that a shortage of staff is a significant element of the crisis facing health and social care right now.
"This experience of long-standing vacancies is being felt right across the workforce, and while the Government has committed to increasing medical school places, there is a lack of similar clarity of response for other roles and professions.
"In light of this crisis, we strongly support the amendment to the Government’s Health and Care Bill which would require the health secretary to publish regular projections on how many staff are needed in the NHS to meet future patient demand. Our members are also clear that the education budgets for the NHS must not be cut in the coming years to support efforts to close the gap in workforce numbers in the long-term. Finally, our members also support urgent intervention to invest in rates of pay for the social care workforce."