PRIME MINISTER Theresa May’s incompetence has caused an unprecedented workforce crisis in the NHS, Labour warned yesterday after figures revealed an alarming rise in unfilled posts.
NHS vacancy statistics in England showed more than 30,000 unfilled full-time posts, up from 26,000 last year.
The average nursing and midwifery vacancy attracted just three applications between January and March, compared with 10 applications per post between October and December last year.
Shadow health minister Justin Madders accused Ms May of overseeing an “unprecedented workforce crisis” in the NHS. He said: “Her incompetence has left our health service with a shortage of 40,000 nurses, 3,500 midwives and 10,000 GPs.
“For years the Tories have taken NHS staff for granted and asked them to do more for less, resulting in a recruitment and retention crisis which threatens patient care on a daily basis.”
Unite national officer Sarah Carpenter called the sharp rise in NHS vacancies “very disturbing” and argued they have been caused by a “perfect storm” of pay austerity, recruitment, Brexit and constant reorganisation.
She called on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to end the “harsh pay austerity regime” and halt NHS England’s much-criticised sustainability and transformation plans (STPs).
The Royal College of Midwives said that 80 per cent of midwives considering leaving the profession would be persuaded to stay if they received a fair pay rise.
A Department of Health spokeswoman claimed that staffing remains a priority and the NHS has seen an increase in doctors, nurses and other professionals since 2010.