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Call for Health and Care Bill amendment to tackle workforce shortages

Leaders of ten health care organisations have signed a joint open letter to MPs published today in The Times calling for an amendment to the Health and Care Bill that ensures the health system in England is fully staffed now and in the future.

Workforce shortages are the biggest challenge facing the NHS and social care. Professionals working in health and care, from nurses and doctors to pharmacists and carers, take years to train and without proper long-term planning, shortages are inevitable. A fully resourced workforce is key to delivering the care patients and service users need and expect.

The government's Health and Care Bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to learn from past failures. As it passes through parliament, we urge government to amend the Bill to ensure that in future England has the robust, independent projections of the health and social care staff the country will need to help make shortages a thing of the past.

The lack of these provisions in the Bill is a glaring omission. If the health and care system is to make real progress in overcoming the obstacles it faces in recovering services after Covid-19 it needs to be fully and properly staffed. 

Anita Charlesworth, Director, The Health Foundation
Richard Murray, Chief Executive, The King’s Fund
Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, NHS Confederation
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
Chris Hopson, Chief Executive, NHS Providers
Nigel Edwards, Chief Executive, Nuffield Trust
Dr Andrew Goddard, President, Royal College of Physicians
Dr Charlotte Augst, Chief Executive, National Voices
Dr Chaand Nagpaul CBE, BMA Council Chair
Jude Diggins, Director of Nursing, Policy and Public Affairs (interim), Royal College of Nursing