Rise in registered nurses provides optimism but workforce challenges leave staff under substantial pressure
08 May 2019
- Around 8,000 more nurses, midwives and nursing associates are now registered to work in the UK compared to 12 months ago, according to latest figures by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
- The data reveals a 126% leap in the number of nurses and midwives from outside of the EU registering to work in the UK for the first time.
- Figures also show an overall increase of more than 5,000 UK trained nurses, midwives and, in England only, nursing associates.
- The number of nursing and midwifery professionals from the EU continues to decline, with a 13% drop over two years.
- Findings from that survey show that the top reason for leaving was retirement, however almost a third of the respondents cited too much pressure leading to stress and/or poor mental health.
- Elsewhere in the survey findings, 51% of those nurses and midwives who trained within the EU, left the register and responded to the survey stated Brexit as a reason for encouraging them to consider working outside the UK.
Responding to ‘The NMC Register’ data for 18/19, the deputy chief executive at NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:
“Following a concerning fall in the number of nurses registered to work in the UK, these latest figures will provide some optimism for those working to address the shortage of nurses in the NHS.
We need to realistic about the challenges we face. There are now around 40,000 nursing posts currently unfilled in the English NHS alone. This will take time to solve.Deputy Chief Executive
“But we need to realistic about the challenges we face. There are now around 40,000 nursing posts currently unfilled in the English NHS alone. This will take time to solve.
“It is striking that the number of EU nurses and midwifery staff coming to work in the UK following the EU referendum remains so low, while over 1,000 staff members have left the register in 2018/19 to work-related stress. Addressing the working culture within the NHS must be a vital component of the NHS people plan.
We will also need to see a mix of short-term and longer-term solutions including the expansion of international recruitment and greater investment in NHS education and training places.Deputy Chief Executive
“Trusts are already working hard to make sure all staff feel valued and that the NHS is seen as a great place to work. But we will also need to see a mix of short-term and longer-term solutions including the expansion of international recruitment and greater investment in NHS education and training places. Fundamentally while demand continues to rise frontline staff face substantial pressures which can make their roles particularly challenging.”