Factsheet: Why is there an NHS staffing crisis?

The NHS has 1.4 million NHS staff. Over its 14 years, the Government has failed to give the NHS the resources needed to meet increased demand. NHS staff are covering 121,000 vacancies (8.4%), including 42,300 nurse vacancies. There are over 152,000 care vacancies and £10bn is spent on agency and temporary staff. The NHS depends on the quality and quantity of its staff to deliver safe and effective care – but staff are undervalued, underpaid, and demoralised. Yet they keep our NHS going under ever- increasing pressure, working themselves into the ground for patients.



  • Restore fair pay, staffing levels and morale for health and care staff
  • End outsourcing to private companies
  • Restore NHS student bursaries, fully fund staff training and abolish student debt
  • End de-skilling and downgrading of the health workforce
  • Implement an NHS workforce plan to meet the long-term health and care needs of the population and staff, alongside ethical recruitment

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