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HomeWeekly RoundupNursing vacancies in England set to double in next 10 years

Nursing vacancies in England set to double in next 10 years

The number of nursing vacancies across England will more than double over the next 10 years if action is not taken to improve recruitment, People Management reports a healthcare charity has warned. The Health Foundation said the number of vacancies could expand from 44,000 today to 100,000 within a decade at the rate the growing demand for nurses was currently outstripping supply.

In its annual report the charity said nursing remained a “key area of shortage and pressure” for the National Health Service (NHS), with posts in the field accounting for more than one in 10 (12%) vacancies in England last year, according to its analysis of NHS workforce data.

Over the last 10 years, the number of nurses per doctor has fallen from three to 2.6. Niall Dickson, CEO of the NHS Confederation, said the report was “sobering reading” and added: “Workforce is the number one concern among health leaders, and for good reason. The report urged action to increase the numbers of nurses in training, reduce attrition and improve retention.

“If the NHS is to reduce vacancies and grow the pool of qualified nurses to recruit from, the forthcoming NHS People Plan will need to set out measures that will rapidly expand the number of people starting undergraduate nursing degrees in England,” it said. Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: “The huge number of unfilled vacancies has become a fundamental problem for the NHS.”

The report says separately, the Nuffield Trust has called for more to be done to improve recruitment and retention in the health and social care sector. In its report, the think tank outlined a number of reforms it thought were needed, including a “realistic and comprehensive workforce strategy” to meet the demands of an ageing workforce.
Its recommendations included a concerted effort to improve pay and effective enforcement of the national minimum wage; improved employment security; and better professional development and progression opportunities for those in the sector.

[link url="https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/nursing-vacancies-could-double-10-years-warns-report"]People Management report[/link]

[link url="https://www.health.org.uk/sites/default/files/upload/publications/2019/S05_Falling%20short_The%20NHS%20workforce%20challenge.pdf"]The Health Foundation study[/link]

[link url="https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/research/social-care-the-action-we-need"]Nuffield Trust study[/link]

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