Today’s statistics from NHS Digital reveal that the number of vacant nursing jobs reached new heights in the three months to the end of September 2017, with 34,260 vacant NHS nurse and midwifery posts advertised. Parts of the NHS hired only 1 nurse for 400 advertised jobs.
If this does not terrify you it should.
In 2013 the news headlines were about the NHS and Social Care’s problems in hiring people with the right values in the wake of the Francis Inquiry into Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, and reports of failings in other hospitals and care homes.
A great deal of work was done as a result of the then Secretary of State for Health asking what can be done to ensure that unregistered staff in the NHS and social care treat all patients and clients with care and compassion. Our company is part of the response and has, over the years, helped many health and social care providers to improve their recruitment processes and levels of care in their organisations.
However, over the last few years of providing values based recruitment assessments Profiles4Care has talked to an increasing number of employers who say that they can’t use values based recruitment because the number of applicants for any role are so low that they simply must employ anyone who applies.
When people say that underfunding is damaging the NHS and Social Care, who pays the ultimate price? Patients and care recipients through lack of services, support or in extreme cases abuse at the hands of individuals who should never have been allowed into the profession but got in through the open back door of dangerously high staff shortages.
Profiles4Care is a nonpartisan organisation. But as we witness the damage being done to the Health and Social Care sector through long term underfunding and the risks this presents to anyone using these essential lifesaving services we cannot stay silent any longer.
We lend our voice along with everyone else asking for restructuring of the budgets and increasing the investment in Health and Social Care immediately. The issues already undermining Health and Social Care providers will take years to fix and people will suffer every day of that transformation.