Coronavirus (COVID-19)—NHS trust leaders warn of ‘perfect storm’

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—NHS trust leaders warn of ‘perfect storm’

NHS Providers has published its annual survey of NHS hospital, mental health, community and ambulance trusts. This year's survey focused on coronavirus (COVID-19) related challenges and asked for members’ views across a number of areas such as Brexit, capacity to meet rising demand, winter pressures, quality of care and workforce priorities. In response, trust leaders say the biggest risk facing the sector is a ‘perfect storm’ of workforce shortages, staff burnout, a second wave of coronavirus, seasonal winter pressures and a potential no-deal Brexit.

Key findings of the survey include:

• 99% of trust leaders are extremely or moderately concerned about the resilience and wellbeing of staff after the first wave of coronavirus

• 94% of trust leaders are extremely or moderately concerned about seasonal pressures on their trust and local area during winter

• 56% of trust leaders are worried or very worried that national NHS leadership plans are not effectively supporting the delivery of a sustainable service—11% are confident in their plans and 31% are neither confident nor worried

• 83% of trust leaders are worried or very worried that social care in their local area has not received sufficient investment

• 68% of trust leaders believe healthcare currently being provided in their local area is high or very high quality, 29% believe services are average quality and 3% believe they are low or very low quality

• trust leaders expect service quality to fall over the next year, but improve slightly in two. However, quality in two years is expected to be lower than current levels

• 93% of trust leaders believe that coronavirus accelerated better partnership working and collaboration in local systems

• other concerns include sustaining levels of planned care and addressing growing waiting lists as coronavirus infections and hospital admissions rise, and the uncertainty of the external environment suggesting further increase in demand for NHS services

Source: state of the NHS provider sector 2020

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