Worrying drop in numbers of community nurses

24 January 2018

 

NHS Digital has published new statistics which reveal that the number of vacant nursing jobs reached a new high in the quarter to the end of September 2017.

34,260 vacant NHS nurse and midwifery posts were advertised, an increase of 2,400 on the previous quarter. 

Additional analysis by NHS Providers analysis found that total vacancies have risen by 5% over the last 2 years but nursing/midwifery vacancies have increased at more than twice this rate (13%).

The data also shows that there has been a reduction of over 1,400 community nurse or community health visitors over the last year.

 

Responding to the vacancy statistics published by NHS Digital, the head of analysis at NHS Providers, Phillippa Hentsch said:

“Our recent workforce report highlighted the depth of concerns in the NHS about staff and skills shortages.

“These figures are a further reminder of the difficulties trusts face in recruiting and retaining nurses to ensure the safe high quality care that patients deserve.

It is particularly worrying to see the drop in numbers of community nurses – just as the health service is trying to strengthen and extend provision out of hospital.

“They show that overall nursing and midwifery vacancies in the NHS rose by 19 per cent in the last two years.

“It is particularly worrying to see the drop in numbers of community nurses – just as the health service is trying to strengthen and extend provision out of hospital.

“The recent draft workforce strategy published by Health Education England was a helpful start in the process of addressing these problems.

“We urgently need a sustainable approach to securing and developing an NHS workforce that is able to respond to growing and changing demand.”

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