A nurse told NHS chiefs they were ‘very self-congratulatory’ but warned she had ‘never seen the NHS in such a bad state’.
During a recent NHS England board meeting, a nurse confronted NHS chiefs about their ability to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan without the necessary staff.
The NHS Long Term plan, published last month, sets out the government’s ten-year plan for the NHS.
The Royal College of Nursing has previously warned that chronic staffing shortages could undermine the goals set out in the NHS Long Term plan.
Nurse Gay Lee sat in the public gallery during an NHS England board meeting in January – as the session came to an end, she interrupted to express her views.
She said: “I have been a nurse for 40 years on the front line, I am 70 years old and I am still working part-time.”
“I have never seen the NHS in such a bad state as it is now, and it upsets me a lot.”
Adding the board had “only talked about the good aspects” of the NHS Long Term Plan and had been “very self-congratulatory”
“One thing I do want to say, which I have not heard in this meeting, is any real concern about the workforce that is going to do all this wonderful work.”
“We haven’t got enough staff now, we haven’t had enough budget since 2010 to train staff, we haven’t got any workforce strategy.”
“We need something now. We need people now and it’s going to take years before those people are in post.”
David Prior, NHS England Chair, responded by saying the workforce was “fundamentally important” but made no further comment about the issues raised.
We have approached NHS England for comment.