Underinvestment has caused a 'severe' NHS recruitment crisis, says Labour Shadow Minister

Underinvestment has caused a 'severe' NHS recruitment crisis, says Labour Shadow Minister
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 11/04/2024

- 09:34

Labour's Louise Haigh has claimed that underinvestment in the NHS has caused a severe crisis with recruitment and retention in the NHS.

She was commenting on a new report which says that nearly half of NHS workers have been looking for employment outside of the service.

The Shadow Transport Secretary told GB News: “The recruitment and retention crisis has been severe for a long time now in the NHS, thanks to 14 years of underinvestment and mismanagement and chaos.

“My colleague the Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has set out plans to bring down those waiting lists in order to reduce pressure on staff, because that's one of the major things that we hear.

“Yes, there's been disputes around pay but actually the pressure that is on overworked NHS staff and social care staff is really significant.”

In a discussion during Breakfast with Stephen Dixon and Ellie Costello, she continued: “Bringing down those waiting lists to reduce the pressure, we hope would address that retention crisis and encourage people to stay in the NHS.

“But there's no doubt that too many of the workforce have been overlooked, overworked, and under-supported for too long.”

Asked about the party’s policy on public transport, she said: “Since 2010, we've lost 5,000 bus routes across England outside London. And a big part of the reason for that is because we have quite frankly an insane system in this country.

“We're the only country in the developed world that allows private bus operators to pick and choose whatever routes they want, and the taxpayer is left to subsidise the rest that communities depend upon.

“In London for the last 40 years, they've had control over their bus network and the Mayor of London is able to set which routes and services he wants to be run and private operators then bidding to run them.

“Greater Manchester has just moved to that system and we think that every area of England should have those same powers and be able to take back control as well, so that we can set the routes, fares and services that we need.

“We can build public transport networks that really work for everyone. The current system is incredibly inefficient and wasteful and we think actually these reforms will be better value for the taxpayer and will increase the number of routes.”


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