The RCP has responded to analysis of the 2021 British Social Attitudes survey (BSA) published today by the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust showing that satisfaction with the NHS has fallen to its lowest level since 1997.
Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, commented:
“The NHS has been through the most challenging time in its history and the pandemic has left many patients seeing their treatment delayed or disrupted and I feel for all of those affected in this way. The government should be in no doubt, however, that people’s dissatisfaction is ultimately with those who sent health and care staff into the pandemic under-equipped and in too few numbers.
“The impact of COVID-19 was felt more severely than it needed to be – by staff and patients - because of historic understaffing and that needs to change now.
“Additional investment in the NHS is, of course, welcome but we need to ensure that it supports future staffing needs in the best way possible. That’s why the RCP is one of 100 health organisations which have written to the Prime Minister calling for the government to today keep the Lord’s amendment to the Health and Care Bill that makes it a legal requirement to produce an independent workforce assessment to predict supply and demand of doctors, nurses and other staff. Unfortunately, the government has said it will disagree with it, so we need all MPs who think proper planning is key to successful businesses to make their thoughts known.
“Without this clarity, we will be flying blind - risking the recovery of the NHS and risking greater dissatisfaction with our ability to meet the needs of patients.”