Limiting pay increases to 1% per year is causing problems in the NHS with staff recruitment and retention, according to details revealed by the BBC today.

In 2016, the National Audit Office identified that the NHS in England needed an additional 50,000 front-line staff in order to be able to provide an adequate level of patient care. And yet, according to Chris Hopson, Chief Executive of NHS Providers, “Significant numbers of (NHS) Trusts say lower paid staff are leaving to stack shelves in supermarkets rather than carry on working in the NHS.”

According to the BBC website, the Royal College of Nursing is considering whether its members should go on strike over pay issues, suggesting that, taking into account both the rising cost of living alongside NHS pay restraint, nurses have effectively suffered a 14% pay cut since 2010.

Of course, any strike action would further jeopardise the quality of patient care.

In addition to issues of pay, The Times has highlighted NHS staffing problems prompted by insufficient numbers of new staff being trained in recent years and the uncertain position of staff from overseas due to the Brexit negotiations.

In summary, the problem of providing adequate numbers of properly qualified and trained staff in the NHS seems to be coming under an array of pressures, threatening the quality of care offered to patients.

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