How much more can NHS workers endure under government changes?
The Junior Doctor Strike is one of the most talked about topics in recent news.
Thousands of Junior Doctors went on strike for a second time recently, as the row over Government contracts continues. Junior doctors are arguing that the new contract changes compromise patient safety. Both the doctors and the contracts have been highly criticised by a wide variety of stakeholders, leaving the public in a state of confusion about the future effectiveness and governance of the NHS. The patient’s voice seems lost amidst the hostility between the Department of Health and the British Medical Association, especially that of some of our most vulnerable patients; the elderly.
As a country, we have one of the greatest healthcare systems in the world, but that never seems to be recognised or celebrated. The politicians seem to have forgotten that the Junior Doctors already work evenings and weekends, spending hours treating patients and going above and beyond the call of duty.
As the cousin of a Junior Doctor and the daughter of a nurse, this argument is one that is close to my heart. I have seen my family study for years, give up social lives and family events, to then be treated so poorly by the government. It takes 7 years (and the rest) and a lot of money to train to be a doctor, a thought that may now discourage many due to the recent public disputes. In turn, this will lead us to a shortage of not only doctors but nurses and other healthcare professionals and the potential collapse of the NHS as we know it.
In previous roles working as a recruiter within the healthcare industry, I have been able to witness these shortages, and the effects, first hand. Specialising in both permanent and temporary solutions, I have seen the demand for qualified workers increase and the supply fall; the opposite of what we want a thriving NHS workforce to look like.
The main question here is how will we ever solve the issue of a shortage of healthcare employees by treating our existing ones as we are, deterring the younger generation from entering the industry?
Similarly, as hospitals try to fill these shortages with temporary staff in order to save costs of employing permanent, experienced staff, in the long term, this actually proves to be more costly, consequently going against the intended government spending cuts as they try to take expensive short-term shortcuts.
It seems the government shouldn’t be thinking about the short term cuts needed to be made, but the long-term consequences of the treatment of this dwindling and once loyal workforce.
Share this blog post
Why not subscribe to this blog and receive blog updates!Subscribe