Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, failed to address the nursing workforce crisis in a budget statement that barely mentioned the NHS or social care, the RCN has said.
It was hoped that Mr Hunt, a former Health and Social Care Secretary, would announce measures to tackle the deepening nursing workforce crisis and ongoing risks to patient safety. However, his speech did not mention nursing and barely touched on the NHS or social care. He promised instead to publish the long-awaited health service workforce plan soon, but provided no further detail.
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‘England's NHS and social care system is ailing and the budget did not put it on a better path. Jeremy Hunt is on the record less than a year ago raising the alarm over the greatest workforce crisis in NHS history but as Chancellor he is not yet gripping it,’ said RCN Director for England Patricia Marquis.
‘The Chancellor found billions to cut fuel duties but left those working in health and care with little assurance they will get the funding that is urgently required. Without staff, the NHS cannot plan for recovery in patient and public services – yet there was only a passing reference to the long-awaited workforce plan.’