NHS chief says staffing ‘deteriorating’ as health workers quit for jobs in warehouses


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Matthew Taylor, boss of the NHS Confederation, said the staffing situation was ‘deteriorating’ in the run up to Christmas as workers leave health service jobs over pay

NHS chief says staffing ‘deteriorating’ as health workers quit for jobs in warehouses

Health and social care workers are quitting to get better paid jobs in warehouses and retail, an NHS boss has revealed.

Matthew Taylor, boss of the NHS Confederation, said the staffing situation was “deteriorating” in the run up to Christmas as workers leave health service jobs over pay.

Hundreds of thousands of NHS staff are poised to strike over the Government’s refusal to give them above inflation pay rises.

The Royal College of Nursing has told the Government that its members will strike in December unless detailed talks on pay begin within days.

It comes amid warnings the NHS will remain on “crisis footing” despite cash promised in the Autumn Statement.

Mr Taylor told Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday: “The cost of living crisis is hard for everyone but the private sector in the end can pass on extra costs, it can raise wages.

Image:

Sky News)

Sky News)

“I speak to people every day who work in health and social care and they talk about staff leaving to go and work in warehouses, to go and work in retail, something which intensifies at Christmas.

“So that situation is deteriorating.”

Asked if leaving the EU had impacted on staffing levels, he said: “There’s no question that Brexit is part of this and the Government themselves has taken measures to bring more staff in from around the world.

“We have labour shortages everywhere and they are particularly acute in health and care because we don’t pay very much and the work is extremely demanding.

“But yes, Brexit cut off a supply of labour and we’ve had to scrabble around now to try and bring in people because without overseas staff, our NHS simply would not work.”

Image:

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Health Secretary Steve Barclay admitted the NHS was under “huge pressure” but said the pandemic was mostly to blame for ballooning waiting lists.

Asked if the NHS is on the brink of collapse, he told Sky News: “I recognise there is huge pressure… but that is why in the autumn statement we prioritised in particular social care.”

Mr Barclay insisted his door was open to trade unions but signalled that he would not support the RCN’s “unreasonable” demand for pay hikes of 5% above inflation.

He said it was “important to look at the package” offered to nurses as a whole, rather than just pay.

“I am very keen to engage with the trade unions… my door is open,” he added.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting tweeted: “Steve Barclay back to the discredited Conservative script claiming that Conservative NHS backlogs are Covid backlogs.

“But we went INTO the pandemic with NHS waiting lists ALREADY at a RECORD 4.5 MILLION.

Image:

PA)

PA)

“The longer the Conservatives are in power the longer patients will wait.”

Gary Smith, GMB general secretary, branded the Health Secretary “deluded” over funding the NHS and care services.

He told the BBC : “Why didn’t they tax non-doms, why didn’t they tax the richest people in this country with the broade…

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