Inquiry launched to examine staff burnout in health and social care

Former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt

An inquiry to examine workforce burnout across the NHS and social care has been launched by a group of MPs.

The Health and Social Care Committee will consider increased pressures brought by Covid-19 and the resilience of services to cope with high levels of staff stress.

MPs are calling for evidence to assess the impacts of workforce burnout on a range of areas from service delivery to the social care sectors. They will also focus on the government’s workforce planning, including measures set out in the NHS people plan.

The absence of an equivalent workforce plan for social care and how parity with the NHS could be achieved will also be considered.

In April, consultant Suhail Mirza told a LaingBuisson webinar the mental health and wellbeing of social care workers was set to be a ‘profound issue’ due to the pandemic, with many having to cope with the trauma they will have witnessed.

Committee chair Jeremy Hunt MP said: ‘Our objective is to produce a report that shows what levels of staffing in health and social care are sufficient to avoid burnout and meet future challenges. That means we need a rigorous assessment of the overall numbers that will be needed to deliver services over a ten-year period, and how many people we should be training in order to meet that target. It’s disappointing that the recently announced people plan has not yet provided this.

‘We’ll be looking carefully at NHS and social care measures that would not only protect staff from pressures that predate the Covid crisis but, crucially, address new challenges we’re facing as a result of it.’

Evidence should be submitted to the inquiry page by Friday 4 September.