Work and wellbeing in the NHS: why staff health matters to patient care

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This report by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), entitled Work and wellbeing in the NHS: why staff health matters to patient care, sets out why it is in the best interests of both patients and NHS organisations for the health, wellbeing and engagement of the NHS workforce to be prioritised.

Building on the Future Hospital Commission’s 2013 recommendation that staff should be supported to deliver safe, compassionate care, this new report offers a call to action to UK governments, NHS trusts, health boards, commissioners and medical royal colleges to take urgent action in the interest of patients, staff and services. As this report explains, investment in NHS staff is not an optional extra, but a vital investment in safe, sustainable patient care.

The issue of health and wellbeing has been scrutinised and discussed for the last 20 years with little meaningful change. Provision at present is patchy and in some areas incredibly poor, which is why action and leadership are needed now.

Without those people ... there would be no health service

Our healthcare system’s greatest asset is the people who deliver it. Without those people – doctors, nurses, paramedics, porters, clerks, managers, assistants, therapists and many others – there would be no health service. Yet, as NHS services face unprecedented clinical demand, increasing financial pressures and a patient population with complex care needs, it is often the health and wellbeing of NHS staff that suffers.