This report sets out a response by the government to the Health and Social Care Committee’s report on workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care, which was published in June 2021.
The committee’s report explored several key issues, including:
The scale and impact of workforce burnout and its contributing factors.
The impact of workplace culture on burnout and the further work needed to create an inclusive and compassionate working environment that better supports staff in the health and care sector.
The unique impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the workforce.
How more comprehensive workforce planning is necessary to ensure the health and care sector has the number of staff it needs both now and in the longer term.
The report acknowledges the pressure on the workforce, as noted by the committee and by many of those who gave evidence throughout the course of the enquiry. The government notes that it remains committed to providing the workforce with the health and wellbeing support they need both now and in the longer term.
The importance of learning from experience during the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighted, the adoption of new practices that have worked well should be adopted, to ensure the health and care sector rebuilds in a way that is even better than before.
However, it is noted that the pandemic has also highlighted disparities in experience for some staff working in the health and care system. In their report, the committee highlights the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on staff from ethnic minority backgrounds and emphasised that the treatment of staff from ethnic minorities too often falls short from the high standards that all staff should rightfully expect.
It is recognised that more needs to be done to support leaders and teams to create an inclusive and compassionate workplace culture for everyone that works in the NHS.
The government says it has considered the committee’s recommendations carefully in light of ongoing policy development and this is the government’s formal response.
Department of Health and Social Care February 2022
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