Securing workforce one of ‘major challenges’ facing NHS

Securing the workforce, both home grown and recruited from overseas, to deliver the healthcare services that are required by patients has been earmarked as one of three “major NHS challenges”.

The chief executive of the NHS Confederation warned today that the health service had been absorbing pressure through the “goodwill” of its staff but was “starting to creak”.

As an example of the staff shortages facing the service, Niall Dickson quoted recent Royal College of Nursing estimates that there were already 40,000 registered nurse vacancies in England.

“Nurses and doctors are having to work rotas with gaps that cannot be filled,” he said today in his keynote speech to the confederation’s annual conference in Liverpool.