Tag Archives: staff

Cost of NHS negligence claims soars as staff fear speaking out on safety | Richard Vize

This week I met a man about to launch a legal action for negligence against the hospital where his wife and son almost died during childbirth. Two years later, she is still recovering and waiting for answers as to what went wrong. Exhausted by months of obstruction and denial, they believe going to court is the only way they will get an admission that mistakes were made. They don’t want money, just an apology and assurance that no one else will have to suffer as they did.

This entirely avoidable melodrama is being played out across the NHS. Friday’s report by the public accounts committee into the cost of clinical negligence in hospital trusts reveals that the bill has quadrupled in 10 years to £1.6bn and is expected to double again by 2021.

That would mean more than £3bn wasted on negligence costs in a single year, amounting to roughly 4% of trusts’ income.

The rising costs are driven by two factors. As well as increasing damages for a small and stable number of “high value”, mostly maternity-related claims – which account for 83% of the damages awarded – there is a growth in the number and cost of “low value” claims. Fewer than 4% of people who experience harm make a claim, says the public accounts committee.

The money is, of course, just a small part of the final bill, which is mainly paid in anguish for patients, families and staff, and in many cases life-changing harm.

This human and financial toll raises two questions – why are errors happening, and why are so many people driven to take legal action to find out what went wrong?

The root cause of errors can be seen in every hospital. Clinicians overwhelmed by steeply rising demand and chronic staff shortages are now routinely pushed beyond the boundaries of safe practice. Junior doctors are being forced to jeopardise patient care and their own careers by being left to manage departments alone.

Among endless examples of deteriorating patient safety, the Care Quality Commission has just launched a national review of radiology services after discovering that cancer patients were seriously harmed when more than 20,000 x-rays in one hospital were checked by staff operating beyond their competence.

Among all the difficulties there are some promising developments on patient safety. The government has just announced that the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch will investigate every case of stillbirth, neonatal death, suspected brain injury or maternal death, while the public accounts committee highlights early evidence that the Get It Right First Time programme is improving the quality of orthopaedic surgery.

But there is little to celebrate if, as these initiatives are being brought in, risk is escalating in other parts of the system.

The much publicised “duty of candour” should help eliminate such serious failings. There has been some progress in encouraging a more transparent culture in the NHS, but the cold truth is that anyone who speaks out publicly about compromised safety is still jeopardising their career.

That continuing lack of openness is what drives so many people to court to get answers (we don’t know exactly how many people sue for this reason because the data is not collected). Legalistic, insensitive and sometimes deceptive and dishonest responses to patients and families about what went wrong adds immeasurably to the stress of experiencing harm and haemorrhages public trust in the health service.

Whatever the fine words in the duty of candour or the NHS Constitution, staff still feel afraid to admit the truth either to the leaders of their own organisation or to those who have suffered.

The vertiginous growth in clinical negligence costs is a warning that NHS staff are being driven to normalise risk-taking in an ever more frantic attempt to get the job done, and too few staff feel they can speak out safely.

  • Richard Vize is a public policy commentator and analyst

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Doubt over EU staff in NHS threatens patient care, hospital bosses say

Uncertainty over the future of EU staff in the NHS is so damaging that it threatens the quality of care received by patients, hospital bosses are warning.

The lack of clarity over the status of EU nationals working in the NHS is especially worrying as government plans to increase the supply of homegrown doctors and nurses will take years to bear fruit, NHS trust chiefs believe.

A report by NHS Providers, which represents health trusts in England, paints a bleak picture of an already understaffed service, with fears that Brexit could exacerbate existing difficulties.

It says staff shortfalls are so widespread that they affect every area of care, but pose particular problems in A&E units, acute care, pathology, psychiatry, cancer and eyesight services.

“Any significant reduction in the number of overseas staff in the next few years is likely to have a serious and damaging impact on services for the public,” says the report. It follows evidence of a growing brain drain of EU staff from the NHS, especially nurses.

Trust bosses want the NHS to be able to keep recruiting key staff from abroad in the next few years, despite the political sensitivity around immigration, to help plug extensive gaps in staff rotas.

“In the absence of quick fixes to domestic supply, there is a continued need for provider trusts to recruit and retain staff from the EU and the rest of the world to mitigate the workforce gap,” the report says.

In a survey of 151 trust chairs and chief executives, 85% said it was very important that their hospital could continue to hire staff from overseas over the next three years.

“Uncertainty linked to Brexit was seen by chairs and chief executives as the main barrier to the recruitment of non-UK staff over the next three years, with more than one in three (38%) mentioning this issue,” the report says.

Among trust bosses, 93% said staff supply posed the biggest challenge to ensuring they could recruit and retain enough people to give patients the right care. This was followed by work pressures (60%) and pay and reward (38%).

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said the government must “deliver certainty” for the 62,000 EU workers in the NHS, who represent 5.6% of the total workforce of 1.2 million.

“It should reassure them that their commitment to the NHS is greatly valued and will continue to be welcome. It should also provide reassurance on immigration policy so trusts can continue to recruit overseas while we strengthen our workforce here,” Hopson said.

Around 10,000 EU nationals quit the NHS in the 12 months after the Brexit vote in June 2016, according to official workforce figures from NHS Digital. The Nursing and Midwifery Council revealed last week that the number of nurses coming to work in the UK from the EU had fallen by 89% in the past year.

“The NHS finds itself at the heart of a vicious circle. As demands on the health service grow, and pay continues to dive as prices soar, staff are understandably attracted to jobs where the pressures are less extreme and the wages more competitive,” said Sara Gorton, the head of health at the union Unison.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, could help alleviate understaffing by giving all NHS workers an above-inflation pay rise in the budget on 22 November, Gorton said.

Understaffing has been caused by years of bad decision-making by ministers and NHS bodies, hospital bosses believe. Nine in 10 are worried or very worried by NHS workforce planning.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said trusts welcomed pledges from the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on training more nurses and providing more affordable housing for NHS workers from the sale of surplus NHS land. But they wanted action to be taken to expedite the changes, he said.

A Department of Health spokesperson said ministers were keen to secure the rights of EU staff in the NHS. “The NHS has over 12,700 more doctors and 10,600 more nurses on wards since May 2010, but we know that we need more staff.

“That’s why we recently announced the biggest ever expansion of training places for doctors and nurses, as well as being clear that the future of EU nationals is a top priority in the Brexit negotiations and we want their valued contribution to the NHS to continue, to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs both now and in the future.”

Doubt over EU staff in NHS threatens patient care, hospital bosses say

Uncertainty over the future of EU staff in the NHS is so damaging that it threatens the quality of care received by patients, hospital bosses are warning.

The lack of clarity over the status of EU nationals working in the NHS is especially worrying as government plans to increase the supply of homegrown doctors and nurses will take years to bear fruit, NHS trust chiefs believe.

A report by NHS Providers, which represents health trusts in England, paints a bleak picture of an already understaffed service, with fears that Brexit could exacerbate existing difficulties.

It says staff shortfalls are so widespread that they affect every area of care, but pose particular problems in A&E units, acute care, pathology, psychiatry, cancer and eyesight services.

“Any significant reduction in the number of overseas staff in the next few years is likely to have a serious and damaging impact on services for the public,” says the report. It follows evidence of a growing brain drain of EU staff from the NHS, especially nurses.

Trust bosses want the NHS to be able to keep recruiting key staff from abroad in the next few years, despite the political sensitivity around immigration, to help plug extensive gaps in staff rotas.

“In the absence of quick fixes to domestic supply, there is a continued need for provider trusts to recruit and retain staff from the EU and the rest of the world to mitigate the workforce gap,” the report says.

In a survey of 151 trust chairs and chief executives, 85% said it was very important that their hospital could continue to hire staff from overseas over the next three years.

“Uncertainty linked to Brexit was seen by chairs and chief executives as the main barrier to the recruitment of non-UK staff over the next three years, with more than one in three (38%) mentioning this issue,” the report says.

Among trust bosses, 93% said staff supply posed the biggest challenge to ensuring they could recruit and retain enough people to give patients the right care. This was followed by work pressures (60%) and pay and reward (38%).

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said the government must “deliver certainty” for the 62,000 EU workers in the NHS, who represent 5.6% of the total workforce of 1.2 million.

“It should reassure them that their commitment to the NHS is greatly valued and will continue to be welcome. It should also provide reassurance on immigration policy so trusts can continue to recruit overseas while we strengthen our workforce here,” Hopson said.

Around 10,000 EU nationals quit the NHS in the 12 months after the Brexit vote in June 2016, according to official workforce figures from NHS Digital. The Nursing and Midwifery Council revealed last week that the number of nurses coming to work in the UK from the EU had fallen by 89% in the past year.

“The NHS finds itself at the heart of a vicious circle. As demands on the health service grow, and pay continues to dive as prices soar, staff are understandably attracted to jobs where the pressures are less extreme and the wages more competitive,” said Sara Gorton, the head of health at the union Unison.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, could help alleviate understaffing by giving all NHS workers an above-inflation pay rise in the budget on 22 November, Gorton said.

Understaffing has been caused by years of bad decision-making by ministers and NHS bodies, hospital bosses believe. Nine in 10 are worried or very worried by NHS workforce planning.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said trusts welcomed pledges from the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on training more nurses and providing more affordable housing for NHS workers from the sale of surplus NHS land. But they wanted action to be taken to expedite the changes, he said.

A Department of Health spokesperson said ministers were keen to secure the rights of EU staff in the NHS. “The NHS has over 12,700 more doctors and 10,600 more nurses on wards since May 2010, but we know that we need more staff.

“That’s why we recently announced the biggest ever expansion of training places for doctors and nurses, as well as being clear that the future of EU nationals is a top priority in the Brexit negotiations and we want their valued contribution to the NHS to continue, to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs both now and in the future.”

Doubt over EU staff in NHS threatens patient care, hospital bosses say

Uncertainty over the future of EU staff in the NHS is so damaging that it threatens the quality of care received by patients, hospital bosses are warning.

The lack of clarity over the status of EU nationals working in the NHS is especially worrying as government plans to increase the supply of homegrown doctors and nurses will take years to bear fruit, NHS trust chiefs believe.

A report by NHS Providers, which represents health trusts in England, paints a bleak picture of an already understaffed service, with fears that Brexit could exacerbate existing difficulties.

It says staff shortfalls are so widespread that they affect every area of care, but pose particular problems in A&E units, acute care, pathology, psychiatry, cancer and eyesight services.

“Any significant reduction in the number of overseas staff in the next few years is likely to have a serious and damaging impact on services for the public,” says the report. It follows evidence of a growing brain drain of EU staff from the NHS, especially nurses.

Trust bosses want the NHS to be able to keep recruiting key staff from abroad in the next few years, despite the political sensitivity around immigration, to help plug extensive gaps in staff rotas.

“In the absence of quick fixes to domestic supply, there is a continued need for provider trusts to recruit and retain staff from the EU and the rest of the world to mitigate the workforce gap,” the report says.

In a survey of 151 trust chairs and chief executives, 85% said it was very important that their hospital could continue to hire staff from overseas over the next three years.

“Uncertainty linked to Brexit was seen by chairs and chief executives as the main barrier to the recruitment of non-UK staff over the next three years, with more than one in three (38%) mentioning this issue,” the report says.

Among trust bosses, 93% said staff supply posed the biggest challenge to ensuring they could recruit and retain enough people to give patients the right care. This was followed by work pressures (60%) and pay and reward (38%).

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said the government must “deliver certainty” for the 62,000 EU workers in the NHS, who represent 5.6% of the total workforce of 1.2 million.

“It should reassure them that their commitment to the NHS is greatly valued and will continue to be welcome. It should also provide reassurance on immigration policy so trusts can continue to recruit overseas while we strengthen our workforce here,” Hopson said.

Around 10,000 EU nationals quit the NHS in the 12 months after the Brexit vote in June 2016, according to official workforce figures from NHS Digital. The Nursing and Midwifery Council revealed last week that the number of nurses coming to work in the UK from the EU had fallen by 89% in the past year.

“The NHS finds itself at the heart of a vicious circle. As demands on the health service grow, and pay continues to dive as prices soar, staff are understandably attracted to jobs where the pressures are less extreme and the wages more competitive,” said Sara Gorton, the head of health at the union Unison.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, could help alleviate understaffing by giving all NHS workers an above-inflation pay rise in the budget on 22 November, Gorton said.

Understaffing has been caused by years of bad decision-making by ministers and NHS bodies, hospital bosses believe. Nine in 10 are worried or very worried by NHS workforce planning.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said trusts welcomed pledges from the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on training more nurses and providing more affordable housing for NHS workers from the sale of surplus NHS land. But they wanted action to be taken to expedite the changes, he said.

A Department of Health spokesperson said ministers were keen to secure the rights of EU staff in the NHS. “The NHS has over 12,700 more doctors and 10,600 more nurses on wards since May 2010, but we know that we need more staff.

“That’s why we recently announced the biggest ever expansion of training places for doctors and nurses, as well as being clear that the future of EU nationals is a top priority in the Brexit negotiations and we want their valued contribution to the NHS to continue, to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs both now and in the future.”

Doubt over EU staff in NHS threatens patient care, hospital bosses say

Uncertainty over the future of EU staff in the NHS is so damaging that it threatens the quality of care received by patients, hospital bosses are warning.

The lack of clarity over the status of EU nationals working in the NHS is especially worrying as government plans to increase the supply of homegrown doctors and nurses will take years to bear fruit, NHS trust chiefs believe.

A report by NHS Providers, which represents health trusts in England, paints a bleak picture of an already understaffed service, with fears that Brexit could exacerbate existing difficulties.

It says staff shortfalls are so widespread that they affect every area of care, but pose particular problems in A&E units, acute care, pathology, psychiatry, cancer and eyesight services.

“Any significant reduction in the number of overseas staff in the next few years is likely to have a serious and damaging impact on services for the public,” says the report. It follows evidence of a growing brain drain of EU staff from the NHS, especially nurses.

Trust bosses want the NHS to be able to keep recruiting key staff from abroad in the next few years, despite the political sensitivity around immigration, to help plug extensive gaps in staff rotas.

“In the absence of quick fixes to domestic supply, there is a continued need for provider trusts to recruit and retain staff from the EU and the rest of the world to mitigate the workforce gap,” the report says.

In a survey of 151 trust chairs and chief executives, 85% said it was very important that their hospital could continue to hire staff from overseas over the next three years.

“Uncertainty linked to Brexit was seen by chairs and chief executives as the main barrier to the recruitment of non-UK staff over the next three years, with more than one in three (38%) mentioning this issue,” the report says.

Among trust bosses, 93% said staff supply posed the biggest challenge to ensuring they could recruit and retain enough people to give patients the right care. This was followed by work pressures (60%) and pay and reward (38%).

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said the government must “deliver certainty” for the 62,000 EU workers in the NHS, who represent 5.6% of the total workforce of 1.2 million.

“It should reassure them that their commitment to the NHS is greatly valued and will continue to be welcome. It should also provide reassurance on immigration policy so trusts can continue to recruit overseas while we strengthen our workforce here,” Hopson said.

Around 10,000 EU nationals quit the NHS in the 12 months after the Brexit vote in June 2016, according to official workforce figures from NHS Digital. The Nursing and Midwifery Council revealed last week that the number of nurses coming to work in the UK from the EU had fallen by 89% in the past year.

“The NHS finds itself at the heart of a vicious circle. As demands on the health service grow, and pay continues to dive as prices soar, staff are understandably attracted to jobs where the pressures are less extreme and the wages more competitive,” said Sara Gorton, the head of health at the union Unison.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, could help alleviate understaffing by giving all NHS workers an above-inflation pay rise in the budget on 22 November, Gorton said.

Understaffing has been caused by years of bad decision-making by ministers and NHS bodies, hospital bosses believe. Nine in 10 are worried or very worried by NHS workforce planning.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said trusts welcomed pledges from the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on training more nurses and providing more affordable housing for NHS workers from the sale of surplus NHS land. But they wanted action to be taken to expedite the changes, he said.

A Department of Health spokesperson said ministers were keen to secure the rights of EU staff in the NHS. “The NHS has over 12,700 more doctors and 10,600 more nurses on wards since May 2010, but we know that we need more staff.

“That’s why we recently announced the biggest ever expansion of training places for doctors and nurses, as well as being clear that the future of EU nationals is a top priority in the Brexit negotiations and we want their valued contribution to the NHS to continue, to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs both now and in the future.”

Doubt over EU staff in NHS threatens patient care, hospital bosses say

Uncertainty over the future of EU staff in the NHS is so damaging that it threatens the quality of care received by patients, hospital bosses are warning.

The lack of clarity over the status of EU nationals working in the NHS is especially worrying as government plans to increase the supply of homegrown doctors and nurses will take years to bear fruit, NHS trust chiefs believe.

A report by NHS Providers, which represents health trusts in England, paints a bleak picture of an already understaffed service, with fears that Brexit could exacerbate existing difficulties.

It says staff shortfalls are so widespread that they affect every area of care, but pose particular problems in A&E units, acute care, pathology, psychiatry, cancer and eyesight services.

“Any significant reduction in the number of overseas staff in the next few years is likely to have a serious and damaging impact on services for the public,” says the report. It follows evidence of a growing brain drain of EU staff from the NHS, especially nurses.

Trust bosses want the NHS to be able to keep recruiting key staff from abroad in the next few years, despite the political sensitivity around immigration, to help plug extensive gaps in staff rotas.

“In the absence of quick fixes to domestic supply, there is a continued need for provider trusts to recruit and retain staff from the EU and the rest of the world to mitigate the workforce gap,” the report says.

In a survey of 151 trust chairs and chief executives, 85% said it was very important that their hospital could continue to hire staff from overseas over the next three years.

“Uncertainty linked to Brexit was seen by chairs and chief executives as the main barrier to the recruitment of non-UK staff over the next three years, with more than one in three (38%) mentioning this issue,” the report says.

Among trust bosses, 93% said staff supply posed the biggest challenge to ensuring they could recruit and retain enough people to give patients the right care. This was followed by work pressures (60%) and pay and reward (38%).

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said the government must “deliver certainty” for the 62,000 EU workers in the NHS, who represent 5.6% of the total workforce of 1.2 million.

“It should reassure them that their commitment to the NHS is greatly valued and will continue to be welcome. It should also provide reassurance on immigration policy so trusts can continue to recruit overseas while we strengthen our workforce here,” Hopson said.

Around 10,000 EU nationals quit the NHS in the 12 months after the Brexit vote in June 2016, according to official workforce figures from NHS Digital. The Nursing and Midwifery Council revealed last week that the number of nurses coming to work in the UK from the EU had fallen by 89% in the past year.

“The NHS finds itself at the heart of a vicious circle. As demands on the health service grow, and pay continues to dive as prices soar, staff are understandably attracted to jobs where the pressures are less extreme and the wages more competitive,” said Sara Gorton, the head of health at the union Unison.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, could help alleviate understaffing by giving all NHS workers an above-inflation pay rise in the budget on 22 November, Gorton said.

Understaffing has been caused by years of bad decision-making by ministers and NHS bodies, hospital bosses believe. Nine in 10 are worried or very worried by NHS workforce planning.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said trusts welcomed pledges from the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on training more nurses and providing more affordable housing for NHS workers from the sale of surplus NHS land. But they wanted action to be taken to expedite the changes, he said.

A Department of Health spokesperson said ministers were keen to secure the rights of EU staff in the NHS. “The NHS has over 12,700 more doctors and 10,600 more nurses on wards since May 2010, but we know that we need more staff.

“That’s why we recently announced the biggest ever expansion of training places for doctors and nurses, as well as being clear that the future of EU nationals is a top priority in the Brexit negotiations and we want their valued contribution to the NHS to continue, to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs both now and in the future.”

Doubt over EU staff in NHS threatens patient care, hospital bosses say

Uncertainty over the future of EU staff in the NHS is so damaging that it threatens the quality of care received by patients, hospital bosses are warning.

The lack of clarity over the status of EU nationals working in the NHS is especially worrying as government plans to increase the supply of homegrown doctors and nurses will take years to bear fruit, NHS trust chiefs believe.

A report by NHS Providers, which represents health trusts in England, paints a bleak picture of an already understaffed service, with fears that Brexit could exacerbate existing difficulties.

It says staff shortfalls are so widespread that they affect every area of care, but pose particular problems in A&E units, acute care, pathology, psychiatry, cancer and eyesight services.

“Any significant reduction in the number of overseas staff in the next few years is likely to have a serious and damaging impact on services for the public,” says the report. It follows evidence of a growing brain drain of EU staff from the NHS, especially nurses.

Trust bosses want the NHS to be able to keep recruiting key staff from abroad in the next few years, despite the political sensitivity around immigration, to help plug extensive gaps in staff rotas.

“In the absence of quick fixes to domestic supply, there is a continued need for provider trusts to recruit and retain staff from the EU and the rest of the world to mitigate the workforce gap,” the report says.

In a survey of 151 trust chairs and chief executives, 85% said it was very important that their hospital could continue to hire staff from overseas over the next three years.

“Uncertainty linked to Brexit was seen by chairs and chief executives as the main barrier to the recruitment of non-UK staff over the next three years, with more than one in three (38%) mentioning this issue,” the report says.

Among trust bosses, 93% said staff supply posed the biggest challenge to ensuring they could recruit and retain enough people to give patients the right care. This was followed by work pressures (60%) and pay and reward (38%).

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said the government must “deliver certainty” for the 62,000 EU workers in the NHS, who represent 5.6% of the total workforce of 1.2 million.

“It should reassure them that their commitment to the NHS is greatly valued and will continue to be welcome. It should also provide reassurance on immigration policy so trusts can continue to recruit overseas while we strengthen our workforce here,” Hopson said.

Around 10,000 EU nationals quit the NHS in the 12 months after the Brexit vote in June 2016, according to official workforce figures from NHS Digital. The Nursing and Midwifery Council revealed last week that the number of nurses coming to work in the UK from the EU had fallen by 89% in the past year.

“The NHS finds itself at the heart of a vicious circle. As demands on the health service grow, and pay continues to dive as prices soar, staff are understandably attracted to jobs where the pressures are less extreme and the wages more competitive,” said Sara Gorton, the head of health at the union Unison.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, could help alleviate understaffing by giving all NHS workers an above-inflation pay rise in the budget on 22 November, Gorton said.

Understaffing has been caused by years of bad decision-making by ministers and NHS bodies, hospital bosses believe. Nine in 10 are worried or very worried by NHS workforce planning.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said trusts welcomed pledges from the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on training more nurses and providing more affordable housing for NHS workers from the sale of surplus NHS land. But they wanted action to be taken to expedite the changes, he said.

A Department of Health spokesperson said ministers were keen to secure the rights of EU staff in the NHS. “The NHS has over 12,700 more doctors and 10,600 more nurses on wards since May 2010, but we know that we need more staff.

“That’s why we recently announced the biggest ever expansion of training places for doctors and nurses, as well as being clear that the future of EU nationals is a top priority in the Brexit negotiations and we want their valued contribution to the NHS to continue, to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs both now and in the future.”

Doubt over EU staff in NHS threatens patient care, hospital bosses say

Uncertainty over the future of EU staff in the NHS is so damaging that it threatens the quality of care received by patients, hospital bosses are warning.

The lack of clarity over the status of EU nationals working in the NHS is especially worrying as government plans to increase the supply of homegrown doctors and nurses will take years to bear fruit, NHS trust chiefs believe.

A report by NHS Providers, which represents health trusts in England, paints a bleak picture of an already understaffed service, with fears that Brexit could exacerbate existing difficulties.

It says staff shortfalls are so widespread that they affect every area of care, but pose particular problems in A&E units, acute care, pathology, psychiatry, cancer and eyesight services.

“Any significant reduction in the number of overseas staff in the next few years is likely to have a serious and damaging impact on services for the public,” says the report. It follows evidence of a growing brain drain of EU staff from the NHS, especially nurses.

Trust bosses want the NHS to be able to keep recruiting key staff from abroad in the next few years, despite the political sensitivity around immigration, to help plug extensive gaps in staff rotas.

“In the absence of quick fixes to domestic supply, there is a continued need for provider trusts to recruit and retain staff from the EU and the rest of the world to mitigate the workforce gap,” the report says.

In a survey of 151 trust chairs and chief executives, 85% said it was very important that their hospital could continue to hire staff from overseas over the next three years.

“Uncertainty linked to Brexit was seen by chairs and chief executives as the main barrier to the recruitment of non-UK staff over the next three years, with more than one in three (38%) mentioning this issue,” the report says.

Among trust bosses, 93% said staff supply posed the biggest challenge to ensuring they could recruit and retain enough people to give patients the right care. This was followed by work pressures (60%) and pay and reward (38%).

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said the government must “deliver certainty” for the 62,000 EU workers in the NHS, who represent 5.6% of the total workforce of 1.2 million.

“It should reassure them that their commitment to the NHS is greatly valued and will continue to be welcome. It should also provide reassurance on immigration policy so trusts can continue to recruit overseas while we strengthen our workforce here,” Hopson said.

Around 10,000 EU nationals quit the NHS in the 12 months after the Brexit vote in June 2016, according to official workforce figures from NHS Digital. The Nursing and Midwifery Council revealed last week that the number of nurses coming to work in the UK from the EU had fallen by 89% in the past year.

“The NHS finds itself at the heart of a vicious circle. As demands on the health service grow, and pay continues to dive as prices soar, staff are understandably attracted to jobs where the pressures are less extreme and the wages more competitive,” said Sara Gorton, the head of health at the union Unison.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, could help alleviate understaffing by giving all NHS workers an above-inflation pay rise in the budget on 22 November, Gorton said.

Understaffing has been caused by years of bad decision-making by ministers and NHS bodies, hospital bosses believe. Nine in 10 are worried or very worried by NHS workforce planning.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said trusts welcomed pledges from the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on training more nurses and providing more affordable housing for NHS workers from the sale of surplus NHS land. But they wanted action to be taken to expedite the changes, he said.

A Department of Health spokesperson said ministers were keen to secure the rights of EU staff in the NHS. “The NHS has over 12,700 more doctors and 10,600 more nurses on wards since May 2010, but we know that we need more staff.

“That’s why we recently announced the biggest ever expansion of training places for doctors and nurses, as well as being clear that the future of EU nationals is a top priority in the Brexit negotiations and we want their valued contribution to the NHS to continue, to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs both now and in the future.”

Doubt over EU staff in NHS threatens patient care, hospital bosses say

Uncertainty over the future of EU staff in the NHS is so damaging that it threatens the quality of care received by patients, hospital bosses are warning.

The lack of clarity over the status of EU nationals working in the NHS is especially worrying as government plans to increase the supply of homegrown doctors and nurses will take years to bear fruit, NHS trust chiefs believe.

A report by NHS Providers, which represents health trusts in England, paints a bleak picture of an already understaffed service, with fears that Brexit could exacerbate existing difficulties.

It says staff shortfalls are so widespread that they affect every area of care, but pose particular problems in A&E units, acute care, pathology, psychiatry, cancer and eyesight services.

“Any significant reduction in the number of overseas staff in the next few years is likely to have a serious and damaging impact on services for the public,” says the report. It follows evidence of a growing brain drain of EU staff from the NHS, especially nurses.

Trust bosses want the NHS to be able to keep recruiting key staff from abroad in the next few years, despite the political sensitivity around immigration, to help plug extensive gaps in staff rotas.

“In the absence of quick fixes to domestic supply, there is a continued need for provider trusts to recruit and retain staff from the EU and the rest of the world to mitigate the workforce gap,” the report says.

In a survey of 151 trust chairs and chief executives, 85% said it was very important that their hospital could continue to hire staff from overseas over the next three years.

“Uncertainty linked to Brexit was seen by chairs and chief executives as the main barrier to the recruitment of non-UK staff over the next three years, with more than one in three (38%) mentioning this issue,” the report says.

Among trust bosses, 93% said staff supply posed the biggest challenge to ensuring they could recruit and retain enough people to give patients the right care. This was followed by work pressures (60%) and pay and reward (38%).

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said the government must “deliver certainty” for the 62,000 EU workers in the NHS, who represent 5.6% of the total workforce of 1.2 million.

“It should reassure them that their commitment to the NHS is greatly valued and will continue to be welcome. It should also provide reassurance on immigration policy so trusts can continue to recruit overseas while we strengthen our workforce here,” Hopson said.

Around 10,000 EU nationals quit the NHS in the 12 months after the Brexit vote in June 2016, according to official workforce figures from NHS Digital. The Nursing and Midwifery Council revealed last week that the number of nurses coming to work in the UK from the EU had fallen by 89% in the past year.

“The NHS finds itself at the heart of a vicious circle. As demands on the health service grow, and pay continues to dive as prices soar, staff are understandably attracted to jobs where the pressures are less extreme and the wages more competitive,” said Sara Gorton, the head of health at the union Unison.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, could help alleviate understaffing by giving all NHS workers an above-inflation pay rise in the budget on 22 November, Gorton said.

Understaffing has been caused by years of bad decision-making by ministers and NHS bodies, hospital bosses believe. Nine in 10 are worried or very worried by NHS workforce planning.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said trusts welcomed pledges from the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on training more nurses and providing more affordable housing for NHS workers from the sale of surplus NHS land. But they wanted action to be taken to expedite the changes, he said.

A Department of Health spokesperson said ministers were keen to secure the rights of EU staff in the NHS. “The NHS has over 12,700 more doctors and 10,600 more nurses on wards since May 2010, but we know that we need more staff.

“That’s why we recently announced the biggest ever expansion of training places for doctors and nurses, as well as being clear that the future of EU nationals is a top priority in the Brexit negotiations and we want their valued contribution to the NHS to continue, to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs both now and in the future.”

Doubt over EU staff in NHS threatens patient care, hospital bosses say

Uncertainty over the future of EU staff in the NHS is so damaging that it threatens the quality of care received by patients, hospital bosses are warning.

The lack of clarity over the status of EU nationals working in the NHS is especially worrying as government plans to increase the supply of homegrown doctors and nurses will take years to bear fruit, NHS trust chiefs believe.

A report by NHS Providers, which represents health trusts in England, paints a bleak picture of an already understaffed service, with fears that Brexit could exacerbate existing difficulties.

It says staff shortfalls are so widespread that they affect every area of care, but pose particular problems in A&E units, acute care, pathology, psychiatry, cancer and eyesight services.

“Any significant reduction in the number of overseas staff in the next few years is likely to have a serious and damaging impact on services for the public,” says the report. It follows evidence of a growing brain drain of EU staff from the NHS, especially nurses.

Trust bosses want the NHS to be able to keep recruiting key staff from abroad in the next few years, despite the political sensitivity around immigration, to help plug extensive gaps in staff rotas.

“In the absence of quick fixes to domestic supply, there is a continued need for provider trusts to recruit and retain staff from the EU and the rest of the world to mitigate the workforce gap,” the report says.

In a survey of 151 trust chairs and chief executives, 85% said it was very important that their hospital could continue to hire staff from overseas over the next three years.

“Uncertainty linked to Brexit was seen by chairs and chief executives as the main barrier to the recruitment of non-UK staff over the next three years, with more than one in three (38%) mentioning this issue,” the report says.

Among trust bosses, 93% said staff supply posed the biggest challenge to ensuring they could recruit and retain enough people to give patients the right care. This was followed by work pressures (60%) and pay and reward (38%).

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said the government must “deliver certainty” for the 62,000 EU workers in the NHS, who represent 5.6% of the total workforce of 1.2 million.

“It should reassure them that their commitment to the NHS is greatly valued and will continue to be welcome. It should also provide reassurance on immigration policy so trusts can continue to recruit overseas while we strengthen our workforce here,” Hopson said.

Around 10,000 EU nationals quit the NHS in the 12 months after the Brexit vote in June 2016, according to official workforce figures from NHS Digital. The Nursing and Midwifery Council revealed last week that the number of nurses coming to work in the UK from the EU had fallen by 89% in the past year.

“The NHS finds itself at the heart of a vicious circle. As demands on the health service grow, and pay continues to dive as prices soar, staff are understandably attracted to jobs where the pressures are less extreme and the wages more competitive,” said Sara Gorton, the head of health at the union Unison.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, could help alleviate understaffing by giving all NHS workers an above-inflation pay rise in the budget on 22 November, Gorton said.

Understaffing has been caused by years of bad decision-making by ministers and NHS bodies, hospital bosses believe. Nine in 10 are worried or very worried by NHS workforce planning.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said trusts welcomed pledges from the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on training more nurses and providing more affordable housing for NHS workers from the sale of surplus NHS land. But they wanted action to be taken to expedite the changes, he said.

A Department of Health spokesperson said ministers were keen to secure the rights of EU staff in the NHS. “The NHS has over 12,700 more doctors and 10,600 more nurses on wards since May 2010, but we know that we need more staff.

“That’s why we recently announced the biggest ever expansion of training places for doctors and nurses, as well as being clear that the future of EU nationals is a top priority in the Brexit negotiations and we want their valued contribution to the NHS to continue, to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs both now and in the future.”