NHS staffing crisis a ‘serious risk’ to safety of patients, report finds

NHS staffing crisis a 'serious risk' to safety of patientsThe NHS is facing ‘the greatest workforce crisis’ in its history, posing a serious risk to patient and staff safety.

According to a new report by the Health and Social Care Committee, the government has shown a ‘marked reluctance’ to act decisively over NHS staffing troubles.

The committee also found that the system underpinning NHS dentistry is not fit for purpose. This follows the announcement of the new NHS dental contract changes last week.

According to findings – which were released today – insufficient IT and digital infrastructures compromise the potential benefits for wider healthcare.

Patient safety concerns were raised when it came to accessing GP medical records for those outside a practice, such as dentists.

Committee chair Jeremy Hunt said: ‘NHS professionals know there is no silver bullet to solve this problem but we should at least be giving them comfort that a plan is in place. This must be a top priority for the new Prime Minister.’

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Meaningful reform

The British Dental Association welcomed the report, agreeing that urgent reform is necessary.

Shawn Charlwood – who gave evidence to the committee – is chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee. He said: ‘At least the Health Committee recognises the urgency here.

‘With every day that passes dentists are walking away from the NHS, and it will take more than rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic to stem the flow.

‘We have yet to see any movement on meaningful reform and adequate funding. Until ministers wake up the very future of a service millions depend on remains in doubt.’

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