Medics have written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to massively increase investment in NHS staff.
Groups and unions representing NHS workers said the increased demand for services due to coronavirus has resulted in “chronic under-supply” of staff and nearly 90,000 vacancies.
The letter was signed by the NHS Confederation, NHS providers, the British Medical Association (BMA), the Royal College of Nursing, the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges and Unison, stating that “billions of additional funds” are required.
According to the letter, the NHS has reported “high levels of stress and burnout among staff as a direct effect of the pandemic”, which threatens to further increase the number of vacancies.
The results of the largest survey of NHS employees, published last month, show that nearly two-thirds believe that there aren’t enough employees in their organizations to do their jobs properly.
According to the letter, more than four in ten respondents said they felt uncomfortable about their work.
Danny Mortimer, executive director of the NHS Confederation, said it was “deeply worrying” that a lack of support made many health professionals feel unable to do their jobs properly.
He said: “We urgently need the government to give NHS staff hope that the longer term gaps in their teams will be closed.
“It is deeply worrying that far too many NHS staff feel that they cannot do their job properly because they simply do not have enough colleagues to support them.”
NHS Providers’ chief executive Chris Hopson has called on the government to come up with a “full cost” plan.
He said, “We need to see a fully paid and funded national workforce plan, so let’s stop asking the frontline staff at the NHS to carry unsustainable workloads shift after shift week after week …
“Right now, the NHS cannot consistently deliver an adequate workload and work-life balance to its employees that they need and deserve. That needs to change. “
The chairman of the BMA council, Dr. Chaand Nagpaul said a poll by the association found that “nearly a fifth of doctors” are considering leaving the NHS for another career.