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Staff shortages left the NHS vulnerable to the Covid-19 storm

We are seeing the consequences of years of workforce planning failures

By Anita Charlesworth  

Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Images

The NHS has been a source of national pride and gratitude throughout the pandemic as healthcare workers have risked their own lives to care for others in extraordinary ways. But systemic weaknesses in the health service are making it hard for the UK to cope with the latest surge of Covid-19 patients. The very real risk of the NHS being overwhelmed has now led to a third lockdown.

Workforce shortages are a critical barrier to increasing NHS capacity, and are reportedly a key reason why the Nightingale field hospitals have not been fully mobilised despite the intense pressure…

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