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‘Real risk’ thousands will leave the NHS after COVID

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Thousands of staff could leave due to burn out Thousands of staff could leave due to burn out

Thousands of staff could leave the NHS as a result of the challenges of the pandemic, unless they are given a chance to recover, the NHS Confederation has claimed.

According to the organisation, while the NHS is starting to see an increase in applications to degree level courses, this is set against the backdrop of levels of stress and burnout due to the last 12 months, which threatens to increase NHS vacancies.

Read more: Prime Minister must act on ‘inadequate’ protection of health workers, healthcare leaders say

‘The people who work in the NHS are at its heart, and we must acknowledge that they have experienced a year like no other. We know that many staff will have been traumatised by what they have seen and experienced in recent months,’ said Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Confederation.

‘There will be a temptation – not least amongst the teams themselves - to dive straight into tackling the waiting list for care that has ballooned to 4.6 million. But NHS leaders are clear that the NHS cannot bounce back without first giving NHS staff the time, space and support they need to properly recover. If we don’t look after them, then we cannot hope to look after patients.’

Read more: NHS needs £12 billion to repair pandemic damage

The NHS has close to 90,000 vacant posts, and results from the biggest survey of NHS staff, published earlier this month, show that almost two thirds of NHS staff believe there are not enough people in their organisations to enable them to do their job properly. More than four in ten say they feel unwell as result of their job, a figure that rises to half of all staff working in frontline COVID care.

‘If we are going to get the NHS back on track, then we have to put the wellbeing of staff at the centre of our recovery plans and give them everything they need to get themselves back on track. This must be underpinned by urgent investment to address long-standing vacancies in nursing and other key professions - this is at the root of the long-term workload pressures facing the NHS and its people,’ added Mr Mortimer.

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Comments

I. So get the leaving the NHS. I am a type 1 diabetic, was told I was fit to work at the beginning of the first shielding then left to cover 2 GP practices while all other staff put out to see shielding patient. They were told they should then work from home!!! Which meant they were at home while I was doing all practice work, run off my feet. As the shielding was extended out of the blue had a call from occ health the nurse ask me question then said not happy escalating to a GP, they did the same and escalated to a consultant - led to a call to my boss who told me they said no face to face interactions, finished dshift and took AL to Finnish the week. My team lead got HR. To complete a risk assessment which stated if 8 wore a face mask, face shield, apron and gloves while patient wore a face covering I was good to work. I said no the need a new clean face nhs covering or I would not see any so that was put in place Boss retired new boss was informed thT risk assessment was to run out of date in October but she never reassessed disputed me sending a copy to her. Because of this I feel the NHS let me down and decided to retire leaving last day of February. Offered to return on a reduced hours contract but was refused. At that time wS advised to join the bank and could cover my shifts until they got someone else. Really up set. I have already found a 2 day contract being employed by a Gp Practice. I joined the NHS in February 1982. Feel so let down and upset. What are your thoughts on this
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