Dr Jack Saunders, expert in the cultural history of the NHS, provides expert insight into the latest problems it faces,
- The NHS is an incredibly complicated organisation to staff, the majority of its staff require long training periods and some form of official professional qualification. That means staffing needs to be planned years in advance.
- The need to plan staffing in advance makes the NHS historically prone to shortages of skilled staff. The service's unskilled and semi-skilled staff have historically also be quite poorly paid, so, which again, makes recruitment difficult.
- Historically, some of that is related to wastage (because you can't instantly train more people) - so it's significant that 85% of NHS trust leaders think it has become more difficult to recruit and retain staff.