NHS staff shortages in England could exceed 570,000 by 2036, leaked document warns. 2023. (accessed 16 May 2023)

Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2022: Results from the British Social Attitudes Survey. 2023. (accessed 16 May 2023)

REAL Centre projections: NHS Workforce Projections 2022. 2022. (accessed 16 May 2023)

The staffing roundabout

25 May 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 10

It goes on and on and on, the roundabout, and there is nothing magic about it. Staff shortages, something that many nurses feel acutely every day, continue to spiral upwards. I hear talk that the UK needs a massive investment in recruitment if we are to avoid a recruitment crisis. The tenses are all wrong here. The UK already has a massive recruitment crisis. It is not waiting for it to happen, it has happened – ask any nurse. We are not ‘going to be’ short of thousands of nurses, GPs, doctors and dentists, we are short of them now. I think some ostrich heads need to come out of the sand.

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) undertook its last British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey between 7 September and 30 October 2022. NatCen asked a nationally representative sample (in England, Scotland and Wales) of 3362 people about their satisfaction with the NHS and social care services overall as well as 1187 people regarding their satisfaction with specific NHS services, and also their opinions on NHS funding. The BSA survey is seen as a ‘gold standard’ nationally, one that employs a robust methodology so as to explore public views on a wide range of issues (Morris et al, 2023).

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