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NHS Trusts Struggling to Combat Staffing Shortages

The chronic underfunding of the NHS over the past decade has resulted in massive staff shortages that trusts are struggling to combat.

These budget pressures have led to minimal compensation for senior doctors and consultants but have also created a decline in speciality training places for junior doctors to train for these positions. Over the past decade senior doctors have faced a 35% pay cut in real terms, and similarly for junior doctors at 25% - with costs continually rising. The pressure is mounting for NHS employers to recruit and retain staff in critical roles but without the resources to do so.

And it’s not just the low pay that’s affecting retention, another huge issue affecting the NHS are the punitive pension tax rules that are enforced on higher earners - to the extent that 44% of senior doctors are planning to leave the NHS completely, according to a recent article from the British Medical Association (BMA).

These combined issues have made the NHS what the BMA pins a ‘leaky bucket’ that is having ‘a catastrophic impact on the country’s health’.

To offset the impact of the high pension taxation, employers within NHS trusts can offer their higher earners the ability to recycle their pensions and receive the ‘recycled’ amount in their salary instead.

The government have recently set out to mandate pension recycling in 2023 for all NHS trusts – a significant first step toward retaining those senior staff who reach their tax-free allowance.

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