• By 2030/31, up to an extra 488,000 health care staff would be needed to meet demand pressures and recover from the pandemic – the equivalent of a 40% increase in the workforce, double the growth seen in the last decade.
  • Alongside this, up to 627,000 extra social care staff would be needed to improve services and meet need – a 55% growth over the next decade and 4 times greater than the increases of the last ten years.

The Health Foundation’s REAL Centre  funding projections report sets out the funding the NHS and social care system in England may need, along with workforce requirements, over the next 10 years. The projections are based on:

  • underlying funding pressures, such as population size and age structure
  • additional funding pressures, such as the impact of COVID-19 and potential policy choices.

It finds that by 2030/31, up to an extra 488,000 health care staff would be needed to meet demand pressures and recover from the pandemic – the equivalent of a 40% increase in the workforce, double the growth seen in the last decade. Alongside this, up to 627,000 extra social care staff would be needed to improve services and meet need – a 55% growth over the next decade and 4 times greater than the increases of the last ten years.

The scale of the workforce challenge means action from government is needed on several fronts, including investment in training and recruitment, both domestically and internationally. It also means ensuring that staff salaries, terms and conditions are competitive compared to other work, and that flexible working, progression and career opportunities are all available to encourage new people to join the profession and existing workers to stay.

Further reading

Report

Health and social care funding projections 2021

October 2021
Report

The REAL Centre sets out projections of the funding the NHS and social care system in England may...

REAL Centre

Press release

Over a million more health and care staff needed in the next decade to meet growing demand for care

1 October 2021
Press release

New report from the Health Foundation’s REAL Centre highlights huge scale of workforce shortfall.

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