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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