One million more health and care staff needed over the next decade

More than one million extra health and care staff will be needed in the next decade to meet growing demand for care, according to a new report.

In order to meet demand and recover from the pandemic over the next decade, 488,000 health staff and 627,000 social care workers are needed. That’s according to research from charity The Health Foundation.

Anita Charlesworth, the Health Foundation’s Director of Research, said:

If the Government doesn’t take action now to invest in the workforce the NHS and social care system are likely to face a decade of increasing staff shortages.

5.6 million people are already waiting for care and the health service desperately needs more staff.

Workforce shortages are the biggest risk to post-pandemic recovery.

Despite the more immediate challenges posed by Covid-19, the Government must not lose sight of the underlying demand and cost pressures facing the NHS and social care over the long term and the need to plan better to increase the workforce to meet this demand.

Read on...

More funding

The Health Foundation’s Research and Economic Analysis for the Long term (Real) Centre published the figures on Friday 1 October. It said a major boost in the workforce would require “significantly” more funding over the next 10 years.

The increased need, the charity said, is driven by:

  • An ageing population.
  • Rising numbers of people with long-term chronic health problems.
  • And a major backlog in care as a result of the pandemic.

The NHS alone will need to grow at twice the rate of the last decade, and much closer to the historic average, according to the report.

This would mean around £70bn extra by 2030/31, a 3.2% annual real terms funding increase.

Social care funding will need to rise more quickly than the NHS, said the charity. This would mean reversing a trend of stagnant social care spending.

The report highlights a growing gap between the demands on services and the staff and resources available to provide care. Services particularly affected include primary, acute, mental health and social care.

Better salaries and working conditions

The charity is calling for investment in training and recruitment in the UK and internationally. And it’s also calling for salaries, working conditions, and career progress to be made competitive in order to attract new people to roles and retain current staff.

The report suggests the projected gap in the workforce is in addition to current vacancies across the health and care system. The NHS is currently short of 94,000 staff and social care of 112,000 staff.

Charlesworth added:

In the forthcoming spending review it is vital that the Government’s recent commitment to put money into day-to-day NHS care is matched with investment to train the health and care staff needed.

A comprehensive fully funded workforce plan should be the top priority for government.

Without it our health and social care service will be unable to keep up with demand, and care will fall well short of standards in other Western European nations.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Did you mean ‘One million more health and care staff needed over the next [millennia]’?
      We won’t get 10 000 more Health/Care Staff under This FU of a Tory Government nor will we under the ELITES/ESTABLISHMENT’S Aleardy Elected PM, The Furher Knut Starmer and his Starmersstruppen Neo-New-Labour TORY Party!
      Under The Furher we’d be lucky to see 1000! Then again Care and NHS will only be accessible to the upper middle class and up, most certainly “not for the Undeserving Poor”!
      We’d just take to the elements for our healing! Perhaps a small handful of the mugs who voted our lives away will have access to the back door sit and wait service!
      All speculations and oppinions aside if we don’t take drastic action The PEOPLE of The UK are done for! Most who shot themselves in the foot are crying rivers of tears and they are about to make an even worse mistake, and yet again guided by MSM like Zombified Sheeple!

    2. This article warns us of the urgency of building up the NHS and Social Care Service.

      Yet it seems that both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party have been working towards the total privatisation of the National Health Service for the past 40 years. If this were not true, then the NHS would be in perfect health and thriving in providing a top class service to the people.

      Whilst there are still many professionals within these services striving to provide the best service that they can, their struggle seems increasingly in vain up against the neoliberal moves to privatise it for their own profit.

      Privatisation of the NHS must be reversed, & brought back into the public domain. Such an important element to the fabric of society must be Nationalised and run by the people, for the people.

      The profit is the health of the people, not the private financial gain for the few.

      Dr Bob Gill has a great documentary on this called : The Great NHS Heist.

      The internationally renowned journalist John Pilger also has a great documentary on this called : The Dirty War on the NHS.

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