Staff increases caused crisis28th March 2007
NHS trusts indulged in a reckless and unsustainable programme of recruitment due to poor government planning, a committee of MPs has said
The Commons health committee traced today’s crisis back to the massive staffing increases introduced between 1999 and 2004 which promoted a boom-bust culture in the NHS.
Nursing increases rose to more than three times the target, as NHS organisations responded to government targets by bringing in more staff, according to the Workforce Planning report from the Commons Health Committee.
The NHS saw 67,000 additional nurses join between 1999 and 2004, 340% higher than the original target identified in the NHS Plan. GPs increased by more than 4,000 – double the original target.
Demand led trusts to look overseas to fill vacancies and MPs said they were shocked that this now meant new healthcare graduates were facing unemployment.
Additionally as the NHS hit harder times, staff were made redundant and redeployed, while training has been cut and pay restricted.
Staff were recruited, without considering the most cost-effective way to reach NHS targets, while pay awards were made without agreement reached for increased productivity, the report said. Finance and human resources departments also failed to plan effectively which each other.
The report called for the government to act on is recommendations, which included better integration of financial, workforce and service planning.
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Title: Staff increases caused crisis
Author: Carol burns
Article Id: 2402
Date Added: 28th Mar 2007