Intended for healthcare professionals


Consultant productivity drops as result of poor workforce planning

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 27 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1552
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Click here for a visual overview of the eight factors that had an impact on consultant productivity, according to the Health Foundation report.

  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The productivity of consultants working in NHS acute care hospitals in England has fallen by an average of 2.3% over the past six years, new research has shown.1

The think tank the Health Foundation, which conducted the research, attributed the fall to poor workforce planning. It highlighted a 22% rise in the number of NHS consultants over the past six years, whereas the number of nurses rose by just 1%.

Anita Charlesworth, director of research and economics at the Health Foundation and coauthor of the paper, said, “Consultant productivity has been falling, but not because staff aren’t working incredibly hard. NHS consultants work in a system, and if that system isn’t well designed they can’t be productive.

“Much better workforce planning is critical. Increasing the number of consultants by a fifth …

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