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BSR has submitted written evidence to the House of Commons' Health and Social Care Select Committee Inquiry outlining our deep concerns about how current plans for the recruitment, training and retention of NHS workforce are impacting both the practice of rheumatology and quality of patient care.

Our Chief Executive Ali Rivett said: "BSR welcomes the continued importance members of the Health and Social Care Select Committee place on NHS workforce numbers. Our evidence submission provides a window to the stark reality of recruitment, training and retention issues in rheumatology, a specialty which helps to care for more than 18.8 million people with musculoskeletal conditions in the UK.

"When challenged on workforce issues, the Prime Minister consistently repeats the Government’s ambitions for more nurses and consultants but we know that to improve patient care, we need a fully staffed team of experts from across the rheumatology multidisciplinary team. Without a long-term national workforce plan, which includes regular capturing and assessment of workforce data, the crisis in rheumatology will remain."

The Health and Care Bill is a significant opportunity to bring into law a commitment to produce independent assessment and realistic projections of the health and care staff needed in our rheumatology teams and community care settings. British Society for Rheumatology is one of 90 organisations lobbying the Government on workforce shortages through the Royal College of Physicians' healthcare alliance.

Read the submission