Siva Anandaciva, Chief Analyst at The King’s Fund, commented on the government’s proposed changes to NHS pension rules
'Hospital consultants, GPs, nurses and managers are turning down additional work and promotions to avoid big tax bills and this is having a real and immediate impact on patient care, with reports of cancer scans going unread and weekend and evening operations being cancelled.
'The government’s proposed changes to pensions will help to retain some senior clinicians, but it appears that health service managers have been left out of the plans, despite high vacancy rates in board roles such as director of operations, finance and strategy, something the pensions issue will only exacerbate.
'Chronic staff shortages are now the single biggest challenge facing the health service today, with nearly 100,000 vacancies in NHS trusts. In addition to pension changes, solving the NHS workforce crisis will require a raft of measures, including financial incentives to attract more nurses, and ramped-up international recruitment to plug the immediate staffing shortfall.'
Notes to editors
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