Experts are warning that the NHS staffing crisis will only get worse in the years to come if authorities do not take radical action.
In a collaborative report, the Nuffield Trust, the King’s Fund and the Health Foundation warned that by 2023/4, nurse shortages will double to 70,000 and the GP shortage will nearly triple to 7,000. This, the charities say, would make long-term NHS England plans impossible to achieve.
And eight days from the original Brexit deadline, the experts said the NHS must recruit an extra 5,000 nurses from abroad each year moving forward to keep services afloat.
The government would be required to adjust the £30,000 salary restrictions set out in the Immigration White Paper and fund visa costs for NHS trusts. The report also shows leaders will have to enact a series of major changes and schemes to have any chance of reversing the disastrous work force decline. Their recommendations include boosting nurse living grants and working to triple the number of people training as postgraduates.
NHS England is missing 7.5% of its consultant oncologists – and 10,000 doctors & 42,000 nurses overall.
THIS should be the health secretary’s focus, not his starry-eyed pursuit of unproven health tech. So grossly irresponsible. https://t.co/igF545vn6U
— Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) March 19, 2019
But the expert strategists said the proposed changes would cost an extra £900m a year – and might still not be enough to rescue nursing from the staff shortage.