NHS faces ‘350k staff shortage and spiralling waiting times by 2030’

NHS faces a ‘shortage of 350,000 staff and spiralling waiting times by 2030’, experts warn

  • Think-tank bosses forecast a catastrophic shortage of hospital staff by 2030
  • The NHS could be lacking in roughly a quarter of their required work force
  • Richard Murray, of the King’s Fund, says the NHS has ‘very little time’
  • Other policy heads say it could lead to a collapse in care and working conditions

The NHS faces a catastrophic shortage of 350,000 staff by 2030 unless it can attract new workers, experts warn.

Three leading health sector think-tanks claim the workforce crisis is now a greater threat to services than financial challenges.

The NHS is already struggling with growing staff shortages, with a record 107,000 unfilled vacancies and more staff working part-time.

Richard Murray, of the King’s Fund, said the NHS had less than a year to act if they want to prevent the problem escaping from their control


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The King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and The Health Foundation warn that the widening staffing gap could lead to spiralling waiting times and declining care quality.

Richard Murray, policy director at the King’s Fund, said the NHS had less than a year to act or risk creating a downward spiral caused by ‘unbearable’ working conditions.

Mr Murray said: ‘They have very little time.’

The report estimates that if demand rises as predicted, the NHS will need 250,000 additional staff by 2030.

But if skilled workers cannot be attracted from abroad the shortage could reach 350,000 – roughly a quarter of the 1.2million workforce.

The report says a ten-year long-term plan for the NHS, which is due out next month, must include a funded, credible strategy to tackle the problem.

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