RCoA welcomes investment into the NHS to support patient care and the welfare of NHS staff

Published: 25/11/2020

Commitment to working with government to address long-term staff shortages

Responding to the publication of the Spending Review 2020, Professor Ravi Mahajan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists said:

“We welcome and support the government’s announcement that it will invest £3bn to reduce the NHS’ elective care backlog, ease existing pressures and support mental health services. Our recent membership surveys1 have shown that reducing the backlog of operations is our members’ biggest challenge, so we’re pleased anaesthetists’ voices have been heard.

“While this investment package is welcome to relieve some of the immediate pressures faced by NHS staff, we remain committed to working with the government to address the longer-term staffing shortages, as the findings of our own 2020 Workforce Census show that more than one million patients are at risk of not receiving treatment every year due to anaesthetic workforce shortages2.

“Our clinicians work in high risk environments every day, treating both COVID and non-COVID patients which places them under considerable physical and mental pressure. The NHS People Plan launched in July this year, recognised the need for investment to better support staff welfare and wellbeing. The £500m of funding pledged to increase mental health provision, including for NHS staff, is putting this plan into action. We look forward to working with our partners in government as we look to re-group and re-build beyond the pandemic.”


  1. RCoA Views from the Frontline of Anaesthesia, 2020
  2. RCoA, Medical Workforce Census Report 2020