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This is the third in a series of Health Foundation briefings ahead of the June 2017 general election. It focuses on the fundamental challenges facing the NHS and social care workforce in England, pointing to a combination of issues around recruitment, retention and morale.

It highlights that the future workforce for the NHS and social care sector is at risk without urgent action from the incoming government to establish a sustainable and joined up workforce strategy.

Key points

  • In the first briefing, we showed that funding in England since 2010 has not risen as quickly as the pressures on the NHS, which have been caused by having to meet the health care needs of a growing population, and the rising costs of staff, drugs and other essentials.
  • The second briefing found that waiting times for many NHS urgent and emergency services in England were at their worst in 2016/17 for the last five years, but there is so far little evidence that the quality of care for some of the big killers – like heart attack, stroke and cancer – is deteriorating.
  • In this third briefing, we consider what steps might be needed to make sure the NHS and social care in England have enough of the right people to deliver high quality care in the future.

Further reading


Dean Somers-Dowell

One of the problems is that peoples perception have changed, they sneeze and then pop to A+E I believe this is encouraged by the GPs as while controlling budgets they lack the insight to escape from their learnt behaviours, they need to be pro active like we're trying to be in the trusts. We work hard and are dedicated to quality patient care, challenging the barriers that we face day by day. We need to be allowed to transform the service. One massive problem we face is the environment. The trusts get charged a fortune for building works and refurbishment yet the quality of the building is not up to the heavy use that the area is exposed to. We need heavier duty materials that can be cleaned using chlorine based products which are recommended by the DOH to make the environment safer for patients. When you read the HBNs they clearly state environments need robust materials. This is one of the biggest money saving opportunities for the NHSs future. To have people building the environment that doesn't rip off the NHS. Instead we need non-profit making companies to build our buildings and sound Infection Control endorsed, robust building materials for construction. Hope I haven't spelt anything wrong. Sorry if I have.

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