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Health Service Plans Poorly, Raising Costs, U.K. Lawmakers Say

  • NHS trusts are facing shortfall of 50,000 doctors, nurses
  • Health Department hasn't properly costed seven-day NHS pledge

The state-run National Health Service in England risks raising costs and forcing patients to wait longer for care because of “poor workforce planning” that leaves it reliant on temporary agency staff, a cross-party panel of lawmakers said.

The NHS bodies that run hospitals and other services suffer from a shortfall of 50,000 nurses and doctors because unrealistic efficiency targets have left them with “overly optimistic and aggressive staffing profiles,” the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said in a report published on Wednesday. After cutting staff to meet spending goals, they’ve then relied on more costly temporary workers to plug gaps, it said.