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MPs examine reasons behind staff exiting NHS and social care workforce

18 March 2022

The workforce inquiry will examine a range of factors that may contribute to staff leaving the NHS and social care and what needs to change to improve retention.

Awareness of issues around the impact of motherhood on pay, part time working, and the gender pay gap will be considered. One review has found that from the moment of having their first child, women in medicine will not earn as much as their male peers until they are about the age of 65. MPs will also hear evidence on racial inequalities with reports that healthcare staff from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to experience bullying, harassment or abuse from other staff.

Contributing factors such as workforce shortages, support for mental health and changes to pension rules are expected to be raised.

The Committee has heard evidence in its inquiries that more staff will be needed to meet future demand and deal with the backlog caused by the pandemic, with existing staff shortages affecting the current delivery of services to patients. Evidence has cited poor workforce planning, weak policy and fragmented responsibilities as contributing to a workforce crisis, exacerbated by the lack of a national NHS workforce strategy. It has been estimated that by 2030/31, up to almost half a million extra health care staff would be needed to meet the pressures of demand and recover from the pandemic – the equivalent of a 40% increase in the workforce.


Tuesday 22 March

Panel 1 - at 10.00am

  • Professor Dame Clare Gerada, Medical Director, NHS Practitioner Health, Chair, Doctors in Distress
  • Wayne Jaffe, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust
  • Dr Vishal Sharma, Consultant Cardiologist, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust, Chair, BMA Consultants Committee, Chair, BMA Pensions Committee

Panel 2 - at approx. 10.40am

  • Professor Carol Atkinson, Professor of Human Resource Management, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Jacqui McBurnie, Chair, NHS England and NHS Improvement Menopause Group
  • Professor Carol Woodhams, Professor of Human Resource Management, University of Surrey

Panel 3 - at approx. 11.20am

  • Prema Fairburn-Dorai, Director, Primary Homecare (Suffolk)
  • Nina Hemmings, Researcher in Health Policy, Nuffield Trust
  • Shilpa Ross, Policy Fellow, The King's Fund
  • Dr Wen Wang, Associate Professor in Human Resource Management, Data Analytics and Interpretation, University of Leicester

Further information

Image: PA