Workforce shortages must be a wake-up call for government

04 June 2024

Responding to new Royal College of Nursing (RCN) analysis, which shows the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan is set be 10,000 new nurses behind target by 2025, NHS Providers chief executive Sir Julian Hartley said:

"Without enough nurses, the delivery of safe, high-quality patient care is compromised.

"The predicted shortfall in nurses would exacerbate existing pressures on the NHS, including long waiting times, delayed treatments and staff burnout.

"The worrying decline in student nurse numbers and potential closure of nursing courses could also lead to a long-term negative impact on the NHS workforce, undermining trusts' efforts to recover from the pandemic and tackle care backlogs.

"The next government must commit to nurturing the health and care workforce, including by fully funding the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan.

"Better investment in nursing education and support for student nurses is also vital to shoring up staff levels at this critical time."