Intended for healthcare professionals


Staff and patients at risk from underinvestment in health and social care, says England’s regulator

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: (Published 21 October 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2537
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. London

The health and care system in England “is in gridlock and unable to operate effectively,” the regulator of services has said. The Care Quality Commission warned that health and care services will be further stretched and people placed at greater risk of harm without urgent action to tackle workforce shortages and chronic underinvestment.

“Continuing understaffing in the NHS poses a serious risk to staff and patient safety, both for routine and emergency care, and shortages in social care are even worse than they are in the NHS,” said the CQC after its annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England,1 which doctors, NHS leaders, and analysts said echoed their concerns of a system in crisis.

The CQC said that large numbers of people were “stuck”—whether in hospital, …

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