The RCP has responded to the findings of NHS Providers’ survey which examines the impact of the rising cost of living on NHS trusts, their workforce, patients and the communities they support.
In response to the findings, Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:
“It is very concerning to hear so many NHS trusts are worried about the effect of the cost-of-living crisis on the health and wellbeing of their staff. We know that the rising cost of living is having a major effect on people’s health across the country, having conducted our own survey of the general public in May showing that over half of them (55%) thought their health had already been negatively affected by it.
“At a time when we need as many people working in the NHS as possible, the fact that staff are struggling to afford to get to work is very worrying. With so many trusts reporting that staff are leaving for better paid jobs in hospitality and retail, it is clear something is very wrong.
“It is also clear that the rising cost of living is severely widening the gap between the richest and poorest members of our society, with today’s report showing that 95% of trust leaders say the cost of living has significantly or severely worsened health inequalities in their local area.
“If we’re ever to reduce these inequalities and support people to remain in good health despite the rising cost of living, we need the government to restate its promise of publishing the health disparities white paper by the end of the year. We can’t continue to see health inequality as an issue for health services to solve. A cross-government approach to tackling the underlying causes of ill health will improve lives, protect the NHS and strengthen the economy.”