Acting Chair of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB), Sim Scavazza, has pledged to support NHS workers in the region who are struggling with the ongoing crises affecting the healthcare workforce. In a recent interview with Newcross Healthcare’s Voices of Care podcast series, Ms Scavazza highlighted the profound challenges the NHS workforce is currently facing, including record vacancy rates, difficulties in retaining and recruiting staff, and increasing burnout.
Ms Scavazza, who is also a non-executive director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, emphasised the impact of the ongoing industrial action across the NHS, stating that it is exacerbating the situation. She explained that the NHS is trying to support staff in various ways, such as helping with the cost of living, providing financial support if needed, offering counselling sessions, and subsidising canteens. However, Ms Scavazza acknowledged that more needs to be done to ensure staff are aware of the support available and can easily access it.
When asked about the NHS’s challenges in recruiting and retaining healthcare staff, Ms Scavazza noted that more needs to be done to make people aware of the variety of roles available across the sector. She stressed that the general public only thinks of doctors, nurses, and midwives when they think of the NHS, and that there are many other professions that play vital roles in healthcare. Ms Scavazza added that the NHS needs to do a better job of educating the public about the different roles available, making them more attractive, and ensuring staff have the necessary education and training to feel fully equipped for their roles.
Ms Scavazza reiterated that the NHS recognises the challenges facing healthcare workers in the region and is committed to increasing support for them. The NHS is offering various forms of support, but more needs to be done to ensure staff are aware of the options available to them. Additionally, the NHS has more important work to do in order to educate the public about the variety of roles available in healthcare and make them more attractive to potential candidates, while also ensuring staff have the necessary education and training to feel equipped for their roles.