Falling NHS staff numbers and high turnover threaten patient care, says report

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 30 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5014
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. London

NHS workforce planning in England is “not fit for purpose,” with high staff turnover in many trusts threatening the continuity of care of patients, an analysis has found.1

Falling numbers of GPs and nurses contradict the government’s rhetoric about increasing staff in “priority” areas of the NHS such as primary care and mental health, said the damning report from the think tank the Health Foundation. The government has pledged to increase the number of GPs by 5000 by 2020, but evidence indicates that numbers are “moving further away” from the target, said the report. It showed that GP numbers fell by 0.7% between December 2016 and the end of June 2017 and nurse numbers by 0.2% in the year to April 2017. …

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