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Staff burnout within NHS and social care is an ’emergency’, MPs warn

Staff burnout within NHS and social care is an ’emergency’, MPs warn.

The Health and Social Care Committee says immediate action is needed to reduce the “extraordinarily dangerous risk” that burnout poses for the NHS.

NHS and social care staff burnout has reached an “emergency” level and poses a risk to the future of services, MPs have warned.

The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee has called for immediate action to support exhausted staff who have worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

In their new report, the MPs said: “The emergency that workforce burnout has become will not be solved without a total overhaul of the way the NHS does workforce planning.

During the pandemic, the NHS Staff Survey found 44% of staff reported feeling unwell as a result of work-related stress in the previous 12 months.

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“After the pandemic, which revealed so many critical staff shortages, the least we can do for staff is to show there is a long-term solution to those shortages, ultimately the biggest driver of burnout.”

The committee said that, while issues such as excessive workloads may not be solved overnight, staff should be given the confidence that a long-term solution is in place.

The report also highlight long-standing, unresolved issues from before Covid-19.

“The way that the NHS does workforce planning is at best opaque and at worst responsible for the unacceptable pressure on the current workforce which existed even before the pandemic,” the study said.

“It is clear that workforce planning has been led by the funding envelope available to health and social care rather than by demand and the capacity required to service that demand.”

The MPs said that without a proper public statement on the staffing needs for the next decade, “the shortages in the health and care workforce will endure, to the detriment of both the service provision and the staff”.

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