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Connell C - LB Mar 2022

Florence boss dismisses Sunak’s “short-term fix”

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that he will introduce a £10 fine for missed NHS GP and hospital appointments, should he be become prime minister, has provoked a withering response from Dr Charles Armitage, founder and chief executive of Florence, a tech platform connecting NHS and social care workers with available shifts.

Armitage, a former NHS doctor, said £10 fines for missing hospital appointments were a short-term fix to a long term and systemic problem to an NHS on the brink of collapse.

He added that the social care workforce is completely falling to pieces and current staffing levels are significantly impacting quality of care.

Armitage said: “The interface between the NHS and social care, A&E and discharge, or the front door and the back door of the healthcare system, is where we’re seeing the biggest pinch points and the system is really starting to break down. When I was a doctor, I saw first-hand the number of people lying in beds waiting to be discharged and it’s only getting worse.

“Nine in 10 NHS and health and social care workers already state that quality of care is being impacted by chronic staff shortages, and over a quarter are calling for the whole system to be overhauled.

“We’re at a crisis point and we need the government to do something about it. The government needs to look at a long-term strategy and predict the trajectory for decades to come. It takes years to effectively train doctors and nurses and we need to look beyond a single government. As an immediate measure we need at least an inflation matching pay rise to prevent people leaving.”

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