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MPs seek evidence on staff burnout across social care

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A group of cross-party MPs has launched a new inquiry to examine workforce burnout across the NHS and social care. 

The Health and Social Care Committee will consider increased pressures brought by Covid-19 and the resilience of services to cope with high levels of staff stress. 

NHS Providers has reported that 92% of trusts were concerned about burnout among their staff. 

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Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth has also warned of a rising absence rate among experienced care staff due to burnout and PTSD.

MPs are calling for evidence to assess the impacts of workforce burnout on a range of areas from service delivery to the social care sectors. 

Committee chair, Jeremy Hunt, said:  “The resilience of NHS and social care staff to deliver care during the Covid pandemic has been tested to the limits. That so many staff were willing to risk their personal safety to do so is testimony to the commitment and dedication of the workforce. 

“Our objective is to produce a report that shows what levels of staffing in health and social care are sufficient to avoid burnout and meet future challenges.

“That means we need a rigorous assessment of the overall numbers that will be needed to deliver services over a ten year period, and how many people we should be training in order to meet that target. It’s disappointing that the recently announced NHS People Plan has not yet provided this.

“We’ll be looking carefully at NHS and social care measures that would not only protect staff from pressures that predate the Covid crisis but, crucially, address new challenges we’re facing as a result of it.”

The Committee will  focus on the government’s workforce planning, including measures set out in the NHS People Plan so far, and assess the effectiveness of the plan to deliver on staff numbers expected to be required across medical and social care professions, and those in training in order to meet future demands for patient care will also be assessed.  

The absence of an equivalent workforce plan for social care and how parity with the NHS could be achieved will also be considered.

A separate HSC inquiry is being carried out into social care’s funding and workforce.  

Tags : Health and Social Care CommitteeJeremy Huntstaff burnout
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke

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