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NHS and social care staff burnout at ‘emergency’ level, MPs say

STAFF burnout in the NHS and social care has reached emergency levels and poses a risk to the future of services, MPs have warned.

In a highly critical report published today, the Commons health and social care committee calls for immediate action to support staff who are exhausted from working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The crisis is likely to exacerbate pre-existing problems such as serious staff shortages, the report will say, with the Royal College of Nursing telling MPs that there were 50,000 nursing vacancies in Britain prior to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Skills For Care estimated that just over 7 per cent of roles in adult social care were vacant during the financial year 2019-20, equivalent to about 112,000 positions.

The report said: “Burnout will not be solved without a total overhaul of the way the NHS does workforce planning.

“The least we can do for staff is to show there is a long-term solution to those shortages, ultimately the biggest driver of burnout.”

MPs reiterated their recommendation that Health Education England should improve long-term planning by publishing independent annual reports on staffing needs in health and social care covering the next five to 20 years.

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