RCSEd Responds to Health and Social Care Select Committee’s statement on NHS Pressures

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08 Jun 2021

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh agrees wholeheartedly with the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s statement that excessive workloads caused by staff shortages are putting NHS staff, patients and the services they rely on at risk.

President of the College, Professor Michael Griffin said:

We have been saying for some time that workforce shortages and the chronically excessive workloads that result are the biggest threat to the NHS today. 68.5% of doctors who give up their medical license do so for reasons of poor workplace culture, stress, burnout or bullying, 7% do so within their first three years as a doctor. The issue is by no means limited to doctors and affects nurses, diagnostic, support and administration staff as well. This is unsustainable and piles even greater pressure on those who remain.

The government needs to adequately fund the NHS workforce, both in terms of numbers and in terms of pay. A key part of this is treating workforce planning and training funding as a means to meet the medical needs of the country, not as a means to limit expenditure in later years. We have supported the call of the Royal College of Physicians to double the number of medical school places and do so again here.

We also support the Select Committees call for an annual workforce audit, setting out the needs of the NHS for the following five, ten and twenty year periods. Transparency in the needs of the NHS is needed to ensure that those needs are met.

At the same time, more needs to be done to support the mental and emotional health and wellbeing of current NHS staff. Support networks, ‘wobble rooms’, space for decompression, breaks, annual leave, and rotation from the most stressful tasks are all techniques which can, should and must be used to protect the people who protect us.


About The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

  • RCSEd was first incorporated as the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1505 and is based in Edinburgh and Birmingham. 
  • It is one of the oldest surgical corporations in the world with a global membership of more than 30,000, including 15,000 members in the UK. 
  • The College also has a significant worldwide presence with members in over 100 countries. 
  • The College promotes the highest standards of surgical and dental practice through education, training and examinations, its liaison with external medical bodies and representation of the modern surgical and dental workforce. 
  • The College has seven faculties: The Faculty of Dental Surgery, The Faculty of Surgical Trainers, The Faculty of Dental Trainers, The Faculty of Perioperative Care, The Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care, The Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare and the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine.
  • It is also home to the UK’s only Faculty of Surgical Trainers, open to all those with an interest in surgical training regardless of College affiliation. 
  • Find RCSEd at www.rcsed.ac.uk, on Twitter, on Facebook, and Instagram

Issued by tigerbond on behalf of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. For further information, please contact lisa.boyle@tigerbond.com or 07730415019  

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