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We can’t break NHS staff anymore, warns critical care nurse lead

Nurse leaders fear many staff will quit due to burnout and winter pressures, a survey reveals

Nurse leaders fear many staff will quit due to burnout and upcoming winter pressures, a survey reveals

‘We can’t break our staff anymore’ – that’s the message from a leading nurse as NHS leaders fear staff will quit due to burnout.

A total of 94% of NHS leaders are concerned that winter pressures would be intensified because of a depleting workforce due to staff burnout, a survey has found.

The

Nurse leaders fear many staff will quit due to burnout and upcoming winter pressures, a survey reveals

Picture: iStock

‘We can’t break our staff anymore’ – that’s the message from a leading nurse as NHS leaders fear staff will quit due to burnout.

A total of 94% of NHS leaders are concerned that winter pressures would be intensified because of a depleting workforce due to staff burnout, a survey has found.

The NHS Providers survey found that of the 172 trust leaders surveyed in England, 87% (150) are also concerned about upcoming winter pressures. When asked the same question last year just 57% of leaders were concerned about the impact of winter on local services.

Worries about NHS trusts' capacity to meet demand for services

British Association of Critical Care Nurses chair Nicki Credland told Nursing Standard the government needs to introduce a ‘strategy about how we are going to manage the NHS and routine patients over the winter months’.

She added: ‘We have an increased bed need for COVID, flu and normal winter pressures.

‘The NHS is not an infinite resource. We can’t break our staff any more than we are already doing.'

The survey, State of the Provider Sector 2021, also revealed that 84% (144) of leaders were worried about their trust’s capacity to meet demand for services, with many ‘beyond full stretch’

And just over half 51% (88) of trust leaders rated the quality of healthcare provided by their local area as very high or high.

Government urged to focus on emergency help for social care and managing COVID risks

NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said trust leaders were clear they had a responsibility to support staff, adding there were two immediate areas they want the government to focus on.

First, is to provide emergency help to the social care sector to keep its existing workforce in place over the next few months. Second is for the government to reinforce how the public can manage the risks from COVID-19.

‘Longer term, trust leaders are clear that this is a completely unsustainable position for the NHS and social care to be in and we have to address the underlying causes – a broken workforce model, insufficient capacity to match growing demand, inadequate funding and a social care system in crisis,’ he said.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said it is investing £5.4 billion in the NHS this winter, with adult care homes and homecare providers set to receive a £162.5 million investment for the recruitment and retention of care workers.


Find out more

NHS Providers (2021) State of the Provider Sector 2021: Survey Findings


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