Number of nurses growing overall but long way to go to fill NHS vacancies

18 December 2019

Responding to mid-year registration data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

“It is positive to see that at mid-year reporting, we are seeing the numbers of registered nurses and midwives growing, but we have a long way to go to fill vacancies across the NHS.

“These figures show a decline in the number of staff wanting to join the NHS from Europe at a time when we know specialist nursing roles such as learning disability nursing remain extremely stretched, and our nursing workforce is ageing with fewer young people joining the register than are approaching retirement.

We welcome the fact that the new government has committed to ensuring the NHS has 50,000 more nurses in five years.

Miriam Deakin    Director of Policy and Strategy

“We welcome the fact that the new government has committed to ensuring the NHS has 50,000 more nurses in five years. This is a step in the right direction, but that pledge rests on successful measures to stem the number of nurses leaving the service, make sure the NHS remains a great place to work and stepping up measures to attract younger people to a career in nursing.

“We know that any long term solution to tackling vacancies must include training more nurses at home. The commitment to reinstate bursaries will support this ambition, but it will take several years for nurses starting their training now and in the coming years to enter the workforce, so this must be coupled with more immediate solutions, including immigration policies which support the NHS to recruit experienced and valued nurses internationally as well.”

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