Tue. Apr 9th, 2024

Historical Crisis of Health Workers in England

There has been a historical crisis of health workers in England this year. The National Health Service of England is experiencing a severe shortage of doctors and nurses. The MPs have expressed their worry that the numerous open positions may pose an extreme risk to the safety of patients. According to officials, England is experiencing a 12,000 doctor and 50,000 nurses and midwife shortfall. As per the reports, this is the most urgent emergency in NHS history. But according to the government, more people are working, and NHS England has a long-term strategy to hire additional people.

The UK already had a shortfall of about 50,000 nurses before the 2020 pandemic. The Health Foundation stated in December 2020 that the government would need to go above and beyond its goal of hiring 50,000 extra nurses in England by 2024–2025 if it wants the NHS to recover properly. According to verified data from March 2022, there are 5.8% fewer open doctor positions than in March. The same data revealed that there were now 110,192 open positions across all health services.

Historical crisis of health workers in England

According to one projection, 23,733 dentists will be 23,733 dentists practising in England by 2020. When January 2022 concluded, this number was 21,544. According to one estimate, 8.2% of care posts are empty. This translates to a shortage of almost 100,000 caretakers. Since there aren’t enough caretakers, many patients are “stuck” in hospitals. Since no one can help them outside the hospital, they cannot be discharged. Therefore, a lack of healthcare professionals will worsen the overall healthcare crisis by reducing the number of accessible hospital beds.

Causes of Shortage of Healthcare Staff

A few issues cause the lack of healthcare workers.


Covid Pandemic – According to most statistics, staffing issues existed before the epidemic started. However, Covid-19 made matters worse and created a significant backlog in care. Simply said, there may be more patients and operations than the staff can handle.


Working circumstances – Low pay, intense pressure, and burnout brought on by a lot of work drive many healthcare employees to leave their positions. This is also why late 2022 and early 2023 saw strikes in the UK healthcare industry.


Recruitment – Regular news reports on healthcare professionals’ appalling working conditions may deter many people from beginning a career. The number of healthcare personnel from EU nations that came to the UK also significantly decreased as a result of Brexit.


Policies & Management – In 2015, the government ended the nursing bursary. The Royal College of Nursing asserts that this was a significant factor in the decline in nurses in the years before the epidemic. Even if the government would subsequently partially change this policy, the harm may have already been done.

Words from Health Minister

According to former health minister Jeremy Hunt, the future prime minister must give it full attention. He said that the absence of healthcare workers poses a severe risk to employees and patients and that the government should find a long-term solution. There is a greater need for medical personnel in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. According to historical figures, about half of all nurses and midwives are foreign-born. However, according to data from the “Nursing and Midwifery Council”, from 2021–2022, more people are quitting this line of work. Last year, 27,000 people left, which is 13% more than the year before.

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