Response to the defeat of the amendment to the Health and Care Bill | Association of Anaesthetists
Return to top

Response to the defeat of the amendment to the Health and Care Bill

Response to the defeat of the amendment to the Health and Care Bill

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Responding to the defeat of the amendment to the Health and Care Bill, tabled by former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP, which would have required the Government to publish assessments of current and future NHS workforce numbers every two years, Dr Mike Nathanson, President of the Association of Anaesthetists, said:

“It is really disappointing that the UK Government has missed an opportunity to show its commitment to giving the NHS a long-term strategic workforce plan. Supporting the amendment would have brought real clarity to workforce planning and ensured the Government could be held to account on its efforts to plug ever-growing gaps in staff shortages across the NHS and improve patient outcomes. Over 60 leading organisations, including the Association of Anaesthetists, came together to support it - this shows how serious this issue has now become.

"With a considerable backlog in surgical cases, and a workforce feeling burned out from the pandemic, the need to tackle workforce shortages, and put into law a plan to prevent future shortages, is more vital than ever."

“As it stands, the Government’s alternative plans to reform workforce planning are inadequate. Without regular, comprehensive and independent assessments of the supply and demand of the workforce, we fear staff wellbeing and patient safety will continue to suffer.

“The pressure facing anaesthetists and their colleagues across the NHS is immense. With a considerable backlog in surgical cases, and a workforce feeling burned out from the pandemic, the need to tackle workforce shortages, and put into law a plan to prevent future shortages, is more vital than ever.

“The Bill still has some way to go, and the Association will continue to work with parliamentarians and speak up for anaesthetists, but we are running out of road and cannot afford further inaction. We need the Government to listen to the concerns being voiced by the healthcare community and accept the necessary improvements to the Bill when it gets considered in the House of Lords.”

You may also be interested in: