NHS Pressures Hampering Medical Breakthroughs

Life science recruiters are always looking for researchers to take up research posts across the private and academic worlds.

One of the untold pressures on medical research at the moment is the lack of doctors able to take part in research due to pressures on the NHS.

Doctors who may previously have been able to take part in research opportunities are now so overwhelmed with day-to-day work with patients are unable to do so. This could be seriously hampering medical breakthroughs, says The Academy of Medical Sciences.

The proportion of consultants in England involved in such arrangements has fallen from 7.5% in 2004 to 4.2% in 2017, the report said.

Staffing shortages are causing significant problems for the NHS, with 43,000 nurse vacancies, over 10,000 doctor vacancies and about 100,000 vacancies over all in the NHS at present. This is putting pressures on already overburdened departments who are dealing with one of the worst winter crisis on record. A&E targets are currently the worst they have ever been, as are waiting lists.

They are also concerned that budgets for medical research has been frozen despite the Conservative Party pledge to double funding for research in the next five years. Boris Johnson said he wanted to increase research funding to £18 billion during the election, but it is not clear when and how that funding will become available.

Medical staff being unable to partake in research means that data collection from patients is less possible. It also means that the research being done is less lead by those who understand what research is most pressing.