Care staff worked an average of 86 hours per week between January 2019 and May 2021, fuelled by overtime and dual-shifts in 24-hour periods, as well as overnight stays at work through lockdowns.
The data backs up the findings of last month’s Health and Social Care Committee report, where MPs warned NHS and care staff in England are so burnt out that it has become an “emergency” and risks the future of the health service.
The report looked at 2.75 million shifts worked by more than 52,000 health and social care workers and found at March 2020 the following increases in working hours:
- 57-75 year olds experienced a 72 per cent increase
- 41-56-year-olds a 64 per cent increase
- 24-40 year olds and under 24s: increase of 28 per cent and 15 per cent.
Average monthly hours worked by all of these age groups are not yet back down to pre-COVID levels.