NMC comments on the "Workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care" report

Published on 08 June 2021

Read our comment below

Commenting on the Health and Social Care Committee’s report - Workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care - Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said:

“Today’s report couldn’t be clearer: at the heart of our health and social care system are registered nurses, midwives and nursing associates. We need these professionals now like never before and we’ll need them in the future. Making sure we have a sustainable plan to address gaps and ensure appropriate support is available will be vital.

“The detrimental impact of workplace pressures on people’s mental health and wellbeing was well-documented even before the coronavirus pandemic took hold and has been exacerbated since then. It is also one of the top reasons given by nursing and midwifery professionals for leaving the NMC register in our most recent annual leavers’ survey.

“We all have a role in rising to the challenge. The NMC is determined to play our part as we seek to regulate, support and influence effectively to maintain the continued delivery of safe, effective, kind care.”


Key points from the report:

  • Workforce burnout across the NHS and social care has reached an emergency level and poses a risk to the future functioning of both services.
  • Only a total overhaul of workforce planning can provide a solution, say MPs.
  • Though covid-19 had a huge impact on workforce pressures, the Committee was told of staff shortages across the NHS and social care prior to the pandemic, with such shortages identified as ultimately the biggest driver of The inquiry heard that NHS workforce planning was at best opaque and at worst was responsible for unacceptable pressure on staff. The Report concludes that available funding was the driver behind planning, rather than the level of demand and staffing capacity needed to service it. It further cites the absence of any ‘accurate, public projection’ of workforce requirements in specialisms over the next five to ten years.
  • Although the inquiry’s terms of reference included workforce resilience in the NHS and social care, evidence cautioned against a focus on the resilience of individual staff members, advising instead to consider systems and systemic solutions.

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