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Chronic staffing gaps putting unbearable strain on health and care services Health Foundation response to the Care Quality Commission’s State of Care report

21 October 2022

About 1 mins to read

Responding to the publication of the Care Quality Commission’s State of Care report, Hugh Alderwick, Director of Policy at the Health Foundation, said:

‘Today’s report is yet another illustration of the unbearable strain on health and care services, and the devastating consequences for people and their families. While quality of care is generally good, too many people are struggling to access it. In social care, new data also show that fewer people accessed long term support in 2021 than in 2015.

'Chronic staffing gaps, now standing at around 130,000 in the NHS and 165,000 in social care, are holding the system back and putting even more pressure on people providing care. Social care workers play a vital role in society but are among the lowest paid in the UK – and around 1 in 5 people providing residential care lived in poverty between 2017-2020. 

‘The state of NHS and social care services reflects political choices. Before the pandemic, the UK spent less on health services per person than other comparable European countries – and has consistently spent less on the buildings, technology, and equipment needed for the health system to run effectively. Improving health and care services will require additional investment and a long-term plan for recruiting and retaining staff. But a public sector spending squeeze is looming instead – and the new prime minister will need to be honest about the consequences for local services and the people who rely on them.’

Media contact

Creina Lilburne
020 7664 4647 / 07941 156 827

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