Intended for healthcare professionals


“Exhausted and depleted” staff pose risk to quality of NHS and social care, warns CQC

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 22 October 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2591


There is still time to save the NHS, but time is running out


The great resignation—how do we support and retain staff already stretched to their limit?

  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

The health and social care workforce is drained of resilience and capacity, from sustained pressure during the pandemic, and this will have consequences for the quality of care if it is not tackled, the Care Quality Commission has warned.

“The negative impact of working under this sustained pressure, including anxiety, stress, and burnout, cannot be underestimated,” said the CQC in its annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England.1 “As we approach winter, the workforce who face the challenges ahead are exhausted and depleted, which has implications for the quality of care. They cannot work any harder—they need support to work differently.”

NHS staff were surrounded by serious illness and death at unprecedented levels during the pandemic, while often struggling for support and resources, the report said. Around 19% were redeployed, and 34% were working on covid-19 …

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