Statement welcoming Jeremy Hunt’s workforce amendment to the Health and Care Bill | Association of Anaesthetists
Return to top

Statement welcoming Jeremy Hunt’s workforce amendment to the Health and Care Bill

Statement welcoming Jeremy Hunt’s workforce amendment to the Health and Care Bill

Thursday 18 November 2021

Responding to an amendment tabled by Jeremy Hunt MP to the Health and Care Bill that would require the Government to publish assessments of current and future NHS workforce numbers every two years, rather than the current proposal of every five years, Dr Mike Nathanson, President of the Association of Anaesthetists, said:

“The Association of Anaesthetists welcomes and supports the amendment Jeremy Hunt MP has tabled to the Health and Care Bill. We have long been highlighting workforce shortages in anaesthesia, spelling out the dangers these shortages pose for the profession, and patient safety, and have been calling on the Government to work with us to help address these challenges. We have not seen enough done on workforce planning, and meaningful action is long overdue.

“In a five-year period, gaps in anaesthesia workforce numbers have doubled and the reliance on an older workforce has continued to grow. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be overstated either. It is clear that the anaesthesia workforce, and other parts of the healthcare profession, has taken a significant hit as a result of the pandemic, bringing to the fore issues surrounding recruitment and retention, early retirement and fatigue.

“The NHS needs a long-term strategic workforce plan and as the Bill continues to make its way through Parliament we stand ready to work with the Government to help make sure anaesthesia is fit for the future.”

“With a considerable backlog of surgical cases, it is more critical than ever that the NHS workforce is secure, and that measures are in place to properly staff the workforce and avoid future shortages, and to ensure there is no negative impact on patient safety. We hope the Government pays close attention to this amendment and the widespread support it has attracted.

“The NHS needs a long-term strategic workforce plan and as the Bill continues to make its way through Parliament we stand ready to work with the Government to help make sure anaesthesia is fit for the future.”

You may also be interested in: