NHS Confederation responds to Nuffield Trust's call to action on staffing

Dr Layla McCay responds to Nuffield Trust's call to action on staffing

7 March 2024

Responding to the Nuffield Trust’s call for a set of specific goals to close staffing gaps Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation said: 

"While it is encouraging to note that more nurses are taking up roles in the NHS compared to pre pandemic levels, it is concerning to see from this analysis that these staff are not spread evenly across the country. NHS leaders are also very worried that in certain nursing specialties – most notably learning disability nurses - there has been a significant reduction in numbers.

“Health leaders repeatedly express their disquiet about the ongoing workforce shortages which continue to undermine efforts to bring down waiting lists. 

“We know staff are exhausted and burnt out with colleagues leaving the NHS due to poor work-life balance. However, our members are doing all they can to improve working conditions for staff and recognise staff retention is vital alongside recruitment drives. 

"In terms of GP recruitment, it is crucial that action is taken to address the staffing gaps across primary care. 

“We know that GPs and their teams in primary care have been working tirelessly to deliver 5 million more appointments every month than before the pandemic against record demand, but without more GPs and other primary care staff being recruited and retained this is simply unsustainable in the longer term.”