The NHS is continually faced with the problem which seems to have no solution, the NHS is understaffed and it needs more staff.
The Royal College of Nurses has stated that England requires at least an additional 20,000 nursing staff; and the Royal College of Midwives requires an additional 3,500 midwives. The situation is also stark in relation to numbers of doctors, with recruitment and retention posing a challenge to the sector. Add into this a junior doctors’ dispute which has left some of those in the profession with the feeling of neglect and a failure to be adequately recognised and you start to come close to understanding the complexities at play within this discussion.
As the nation continues to live longer, with it will come more complex conditions which require bespoke and targeted care. This will necessarily add to the need to recruit. Coupled with the potential implications of Brexit, which may make it more difficult to recruit from within the European Union, the problem could be further compounded.
Significant investment is required in the NHS to fulfil the recruitment problems that it faces. It is a long term problem which requires an accompanying long term solution. One which targets those thinking about a future within the NHS and helps nurture those individuals. As with most things within health and social care, the fear is that consensus on the best way forward is difficult to find within such a complicated landscape.