29 April 2022
Responding to the Health and Care Bill, which received Royal Assent today to become the Health and Care Act 2022, Dr Adrian Boyle, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:
“While the overall Health and Care Bill is a step towards better, integrated care we are disheartened to see that the workforce amendment on the Bill – which was revised to compromise with the government – was voted down by Members of Parliament.
“The current pressures on the Health Service are unsustainable and substantially driven by widespread workforce shortages across all grades and departments. These shortages are further exacerbated by an inability to retain existing staff facing burnout, distress, and moral injury, resulting in the loss of senior staff to early retirement and junior staff who quit the profession.
“Having an independent review of health and social care workforce projections for five-, ten- and 20-years’ time would have been the welcome starting point for a fully funded workforce plan – which appears to have been scuppered. For Members of Parliament in the House of Commons to vote down this amendment is a failure to the NHS and Social Care and a failure to the workforce that has been pushed to its limit for over two years.”