More nurses and midwives good news but over-reliance on overseas recruits

24 May 2023

In response to Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) figures showing an increase in the number of registered nurses, midwives and nursing associates in England in the last year, including more than 12,000 recruits from abroad, Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, said:

"It's great to see more much-needed professionals joining the NHS ranks at a time when demand for services continues to far outstrip capacity.

"With no let-up in pressure on the NHS, staff are overstretched and pulling out all the stops to give patients first-class care.

"The number of people leaving the NMC register is down slightly on last year but the fact that more than half left the register earlier than planned, often due to impacts on physical and mental health or due to burnout, is concerning.

"Trusts are braced for more challenging months ahead and with chronic staff shortages more than 124,000 vacancies in total across trusts in England all types of services are struggling to meet increasing demand.

"The contribution of staff from overseas is invaluable but the NHS can't keep on relying on international recruitment. We must invest massively to train the number of home-grown staff the NHS needs alongside colleagues from abroad.

"It's vital that we increase the NHS workforce further and the government's long-overdue plan to boost recruitment, retention and training of staff can't come soon enough and must be backed by significant funding."