'Today's CQC report is further proof of the urgent need to invest in the NHS and social care workforce - or see many more people go without the care and treatment they need as services struggle to meet demand and address the backlogs created by the pandemic.
‘The CQC highlights how the pandemic has left health and care staff stressed, overstretched and exhausted. Increases in vacancy rates are already affecting access to high-quality care, particularly in social care and other services that support some of the most vulnerable in our society. This winter is set to test the health and care system like no other. Expecting health and care staff to keep going above and beyond, under the most intense pressure, is simply not sustainable.
‘Even before COVID-19, a decade of underfunding and understaffing had undermined the resilience of the NHS and led social care to the brink. With demand for services expected to increase, the health and social care workforce may need to grow by as many as a million staff by 2030/31. This includes a 40% increase in the health care workforce, more than double the growth for the NHS over the last decade.
‘The forthcoming spending review is an opportunity to drive long overdue action on workforce planning and supply. The government needs to invest in the training, recruitment and retention of NHS staff, while finding the extra funding needed to ensure more people can access high-quality social care. This will only be delivered if the sector can offer the pay, terms and conditions that enable staff recruitment and retention.’
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