The chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) has hit out at the “appalling lack” of workforce planning in the NHS.
James Johnson, has called on the government to reinstate proper workforce planning or risk wasting millions of pounds of public money.
Speaking at a State of the NHS briefing, Johnson said: “In 2008 the year-on-year significant rise in additional NHS resources will fall back dramatically to figures around the 2.5% level.
“Despite the extra money, NHS Trusts all over the country are in deficit, clinics cancelled, wards closed, operating theatres being under-used and staff made redundant or posts not advertised.”
Last week, a leaked Department of Health document forecast an excess of 3,200 consultants by 2011, alongside a shortage of 1,200 GPs, and 1,100 too few junior and staff grade doctors.
Alongside this, a shortage of 15,000 nurses and 16,000 allied health professionals was also predicted.
“The whole situation demonstrates an appalling lack of workforce planning,” Johnson said. “It costs around £250,000 to train a doctor, plus many more years of specialist training.
“If juniors cannot secure suitable jobs in the future within the NHS they may look overseas for employment. What a disastrous waste of public money.”