Kidney Wales have joined over 30 other organisations, who have come together to call on Welsh government to publish their national workforce implementation plan for health and care

As the latest monthly NHS Wales waiting times for hospital treatment are published, Kidney Wales have joined forces with over 30 other organisations from across health and social care, including royal colleges, charities, patient groups and professional bodies, together to sign a joint letter to the first minister, calling on the Welsh government to publish the long-awaited national workforce implementation plan for health and care.

Serious challenges face the NHS as we head into a difficult winter, and the impact of workforce shortages on patient care cannot be underestimated.

More than 6 months after the launch of the planned care recovery plan (which promised a workforce implementation plan), and as we head into what is likely to be the most difficult winter in the history of the NHS, we are still flying blind, with little to no reliable up-to-date workforce data and no national implementation plan for the recruitment and retention of NHS and social care staff.

We simply don’t know the scale of the NHS workforce crisis facing us.

Anecdotally, we know that health and care staff are overwhelmed and at risk of burnout, and as professional bodies and third sector organisations, our own data shows us that doctors, social workers, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and many others are facing a miserable winter.

• Only 36% of advertised consultant physician posts in Wales were filled in 2021 (RCP)
• 49% of consultant physicians in Wales have an excessive workload ‘almost always’ or ‘most of the time’ (RCP)
• 89% of pharmacists feel at high risk of burnout, with a third considering leaving their roles and the profession (RPS)
• 70% of pharmacists report ‘inadequate staffing’ and 64% highlight ‘long hours and a lack of work/life balance’ (RPS)
• A fifth of the emergency medicine consultant workforce in Wales plan to retire by 2027 (RCEM)
• Wales has the lowest ratio of specialist clinical oncologists to patients in the UK (RCR)
• A third of GPs expect to leave their role within 5 years (RCGP)
• Frontline social worker teams are carrying vacancies that equate to 10% of the social work team workforce (BASW)
• There is a shortfall of around 150 anaesthetists (including consultant and SAS doctors) in Wales (RCoA)
• The number of dentists working for the NHS has dropped nearly 8% since 2020 (BDA)

Full list of signatories
1. Asthma + Lung UK Cymru
2. British Association of Social Workers
3. British Dental Association Cymru Wales
4. British Liver Trust
5. British Society for Heart Failure
6. Cancer Research UK
7. College of Paramedics
8. Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine
9. Fair Treatment for the Women of Wales
10. Hospice UK
11. Kidney Wales
12. Marie Curie Cymru
13. MS Society Cymru
14. Parkinson’s UK Cymru
15. Prostate Cancer UK
16. Royal College of Anaesthetists
17. Royal College of Emergency Medicine
18. Royal College of General Practitioners
19. Royal College of Nursing
20. Royal College of Physicians
21. Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
22. Royal College of Occupational Therapists
23. Royal College of Podiatry
24. Royal College of Radiologists
25. Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
26. Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
27. Royal College of Surgeons of England
28. Royal Pharmaceutical Society
29. RNIB Cymru
30. Society and College of Radiographers
31. Stroke Association
32. Tenovus Cancer Care
33. Wales Neurological Alliance