NHS: Holiday Leave

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th January 2021.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS staff in London have had their leave cancelled during (a) December 2020 and (b) January 2021 to date.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of cancelling leave for NHS staff on (a) their mental and physical health, (b) their well-being, (c) staff retention and (d) patient safety.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Taking regular annual leave is important to support staff retention, health and wellbeing and patient safety. Employers have a duty of care to staff to ensure staff have reasonable opportunities to take annual leave to rest and recuperate and, whenever possible, leave requests should be approved. However, the National Health Service is continuing to face challenges as it responds to the pandemic, so there is less flexibility as to when leave can be taken. Employers across the NHS are working hard to maximise available workforce capacity, including use of bank staff and returners to maintain quality of care as far as possible and enable staff to take leave. The NHS People Plan published in July 2020 includes a commitment to enhanced occupational and mental health support for NHS staff.

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