Since the pandemic, NHS staff are more than twice as likely to record “anxiety/stress/depression” as the cause of their sickness absence than any other reason.
The ongoing pressure at work has left more staff than ever wanting to leave.
Adding fuel to the fire, just a quarter of NHS staff (26%) are satisfied with their pay, and some care organisations are struggling to pay their staff a wage in line with inflation.
Both admitted to problems recruiting and retaining staff but a focus on overseas recruitment has lowered vacancy rates since the last report. However, the CQC raises concerns over an increase in “unethical international recruitment practices”.
The report also found that almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of maternity services are now regarded as inadequate with a similar picture across ambulance services.
A stark reminder.
Responding to the Care Quality Commission’s annual State of Care report, Royal College of Nursing Chief Nurse, Professor Nicola Ranger, said: “Health and care services can no longer be there for us when we need them. This is the damning consequence of ignoring nursing staff and not listening to their warnings about services they work in every day.”
“At the heart of the issue is the crisis in the workforce. There aren’t enough nursing staff, meaning those in the system are spread too thin, unable to give the outstanding patient care they strive to deliver.”
Professor Ranger concluded, “If the government values and invests in nursing, patients will get the care they need and deserve. Staff must be paid fairly and students incentivised to join the profession rather than be put off by the prospect of huge debt.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council says the report is a “stark reminder” that health and care workers need the right support and resources in place to deliver the safe, kind and effective care.
NMC Chief Executive and Registrar Andrea Sutcliffe said, “Nurses, midwives and nursing associates make an essential contribution to people’s health and wellbeing, but it’s clear they need adequate resources and the right support and leadership, to provide the best care they can.”
“It’s worrying to hear that midwives from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds describe discrimination as ‘normalised’… At a time when international recruitment is so heavily relied upon, we need more inclusive working cultures where all professionals feel supported to thrive, for the benefit of the people they care for. “