Over half of NHS employees say existing buildings cannot accommodate additional staff

25-Apr-2022

NHS employees think premises restrict recruitment and efforts to clear COVID-19 healthcare backlog, according to YouGov survey commissioned by Assura

Assura Group has worked with a number of NHS trusts to improve their estates in order to meet the increasing demand on services

Assura Group has worked with a number of NHS trusts to improve their estates in order to meet the increasing demand on services

The NHS estate is in urgent need of increased capacity to meet its policy of large-scale recruitment - with more than half – 55% – of NHS employees revealing their workplace cannot accommodate more staff, in YouGov polling commissioned by Assura.

Fifty per cent of healthcare professionals – including those working in the private sector – said the physical space where they are based does not have room to accommodate additional staff, according to a survey of more than 1,000 professionals, including over 750 NHS employees.

This is despite the NHS’s strategy of recruiting further roles across the health service.

The findings come five years after Sir Robert Naylor’s national review, which concluded that it was not possible for the NHS to achieve its vision without updating and renovating its estate.

And, despite many strategies and policies announced in the interim, there has been little progress driven by public investment.

The current NHS estate is also impacting the health service’s ability to treat the rising backlog of patients.

Pressures on the NHS are greater than ever before, yet many of its hospitals and primary care buildings do not have the space or facilities to tackle the growing backlog of treatments and rising demand for quality, modern healthcare

Nearly two thirds (64%) of NHS employees felt that the availability of physical space for care in their local area will affect progress in clearing waiting lists; while nearly three quarters (73%) agreed that the age and condition of NHS premises will have an impact.

Jonathan Murphy, chief executive of Assura (pictured), said of the findings: “Our research shows NHS employees think the current state of the NHS estate is lagging critically behind the Government’s future strategy for the health service.

“Pressures on the NHS are greater than ever before, yet many of its hospitals and primary care buildings do not have the space or facilities to tackle the growing backlog of treatments and rising demand for quality, modern healthcare.

“We must accelerate the pace of change for the UK’s primary care estate to create the space the NHS needs if it is going to expand its workforce and increase access to health services.

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“Investment in premises for healthcare is a crucial enabler of integrated care, and a long-term strategy for this is overdue.”

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