Morale in the NHS is at an all-time low says NHS hospital boss, as it turns 75

5 July 2023, 07:15 | Updated: 5 July 2023, 09:42

NHS hospital boss on morale falling to an all-time low

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

Charles Knight, Chief Executive at St Bartholomew's Hospital, told LBC reporter Henry Riley that working in the National Health Service needs to be made "more attractive".

His comments come 75 years after the creation of the NHS, and as junior doctors prepare to walk out for the longest period of strike action, from 7 am on Thursday 13 July, to 7 am on Tuesday 18 July.

Consultants could also participate in industrial action from Thursday, July 20 and Friday, July 21, although the BMA says this has not been announced yet.

READ MORE: ‘Unchartered territory for NHS’: July set for seven days of strikes from senior and junior doctors in NHS chaos

Mr Knight said: "I think the NHS is so much part of this country that its almost inconceivable that any political party or any situation would cause that fundamental contract between the people and the NHS to be changed.

"Having said that, there's obviously lots and lots of challenges ahead, and the NHS needs to really invest more in its infrastructure and its capital, but I am confident that it will survive largely in its current form to its 100th birthday."

"Do you see morale at the NHS being at an all-time low?" Henry asked, to which his guest replied: "I think objectively, yes".

Peter Hitchens believes 'beyond doubt' that doctors and nurses should 'never' strike

"Normally in a war when soldiers are expected to fight at the frontline, everyone knows that you can't do that all the time, and you have to have some time back at base to recover", he analogised.

The hospital boss continued: "The NHS and the frontline staff went from superhuman efforts over COVID and almost within a few weeks it was, 'well now you've got to tackle the backlog', and I think that's been incredibly tiring."

READ MORE: Junior doctors to walk out in July for longest-ever NHS industrial action

On healthcare staff being enticed away from the UK in search of better pay abroad, Mr Knight said: "There's no point having remuneration here that is not internationally competitive. It's not going to work and you will see a brain drain away from this country."

He stressed the importance of both recruitment and retention, as well as making the idea of working in the NHS "more attractive", and giving people time for training and development in their careers.

"It can't all be about squeezing more and more work out of a smaller number of people", he added.

A & E Doctor Liv is debating a move to Australia

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Wendy Williams thanks supporters for 'love and kind words' after she is diagnosed with same rare form of dementia as Bruce Willis

Wendy Williams thanks supporters for 'love and kind words' after she is diagnosed with same rare form of dementia as Bruce Willis

Competitors battle in a muddy pool at the Florida Man Games

Tank-topped teams compete in spoof sporting event in Florida

Residents voting in the South Carolina Republican primary

Trump enters South Carolina primary looking to embarrass Haley in her home state

Children are seen in a building destroyed in an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, February 22

'Progress' made in Gaza ceasefire talks after Hamas 'drop some of its demands' that could see Israeli hostages released

Destroyed residential buildings in Rafah

Israeli officials to meet delegation after talks on proposed pause in Gaza war

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Brazilian president accuses Israel of committing genocide in Gaza

A picture of Alexei Navalny next to flowers in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin

Body of Russian opposition leader Navalny handed over to his mother, aide says

Alexei Navalny's body handed to mother after 'three-hour ultimatum' over late Russian opposition figure's burial

Alexei Navalny's body handed to mother after 'three-hour ultimatum' over late Russian opposition figure's burial

French President Emmanuel Macron at the agriculture fair

Macron booed by French farmers as he visits Paris agricultural fair

Volodymyr Zelensky

Western leaders arrive in Kyiv as Ukraine marks invasion anniversary

Lee Anderson has been suspended for his comments about Sadiq Khan

Lee Anderson suspended from Conservative Party after claiming 'Islamists have control of Sadiq Khan'

Wet weather is expected on Sunday and Monday

Fears of travel chaos on Sunday and Monday amid heavy rain, as yellow weather warning issued

Jesse Baird and Luke Davies have not been seen since Monday

Police in desperate riverbed hunt for missing TV presenter and boyfriend, as cop ex-lover accused of murder

Yulia Navalnaya

Navalny widow accuses Putin of mocking Christianity for refusing to return body

Charles has shared a message of support for Ukraine

King Charles hails 'heroism' of Ukrainians as world leaders mark second anniversary of Russian invasion in Kyiv

Junior doctors have gone on strike again

Junior doctors walk out for five-day strike amid long-standing pay row, in latest round of NHS industrial action