25 July 2022

A report on the state of the health and social care workforce in England, published today by the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee, notes the shortages being faced across health care professions, including speech and language therapy.

The report, Workforce: recruitment, training and retention in health and social care, details the current health and social care workforce crisis and takes into account evidence submitted by a wide range of key stakeholders, including the RCSLT.

It specifically lists speech and language therapy as a profession facing shortages and critiques the government’s rejection of amendments to the Health and Care Bill which would have recommended independent analyses of shortages in every specialty.

The RCSLT was also invited to make a submission (PDF) to the committee’s panel of independent experts (Expert Panel) to inform its evaluation of the progress the government has made against its commitments on the health and social care workforce.

Published today, Expert Panel: evaluation of government’s commitments in the area of the health and social care workforce in England incorporates RCSLT evidence to argue that “chronic workforce shortages were identified as a problem across professions, sectors and specialties, and evidence highlighted that the pandemic had only amplified the problems, rather than created them” and “inadequate workforce planning was impairing patient or people’s safety, quality of care and clearing of the backlog of work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Perhaps most notably, the panel’s report directly references evidence provided by the RCSLT and the Chartered Society for Physiotherapists (CSP) that “declining workforce numbers, and the lack of attention paid to other parts of the healthcare workforce such as AHPs is impairing the ability to integrate care to maximise patient care and safety.”

The RCSLT will continue to influence on workforce-related issues and looks forward to seeing the government’s response to both reports’ recommendations.

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