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UK Nursing Crisis Deepens as Advertised Nursing Jobs Remain Vacant - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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UK Nursing Crisis Deepens as Advertised Nursing Jobs Remain Vacant by katty : July 26, 2018, 07:34:47 PM
Vacancies for doctors, nurses, midwives and therapists in the NHS are at their highest level since records began three years ago providing further evidence of a staffing crisis in the health service.

Hospital trusts and other care providers tried to recruit 69,408 nurses and midwives in the six months between October 2017 and March this year, according to the latest vacancy figures published by NHS Digital. The figure was 64,127 for the same six-month period in 2016-17 and 57,964 in the same six months in 2015-16, suggesting thousands more vacancies today than two years ago.

The number of vacancies for doctors and dentists has risen from 18,105 between October 2015 and March 2016 to 20,339 in the same six months in 2017-18, though that is a slight drop on the 21,278 roles advertised in that period in 2016-17.

Vacancies for allied health professionals – including physiotherapists and occupational therapists – rose from 16,159 in 2015-16 to 18,328. The number of healthcare scientists rose significantly over the same period, from 3,109 to 4,044. However, vacancies for administrative and clerical staff barely changed over the last three years. There were 35,465 in 2015-16 and 35,552 in the most recent six months.

NHS Digital’s latest quarterly figures are for posts that health service organisations tried to fill by advertising them on NHS Jobs, the main website they use when seeking new recruits.

Labour blamed the government’s handling of the NHS for the rising number of unfilled posts and claimed safety and quality of care is being compromised.

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth said: “The government’s total mismanagement of the NHS workforce has left huge numbers of posts unfilled and unacceptably puts patients at risk. A series of poor decisions from unfair pay restraint, cuts and incompetence from ministers have created these enormous staffing shortages.

“The cuts to bursaries [for trainee nurses and midwives] have driven down the numbers of students applying for health degrees while the government’s chaotic handling of Brexit has put off increasing numbers of desperately needed medical staff from coming to the UK to care for our sick and elderly.”

Under-estimate

NHS Digital’s figures showed that 87,478 vacancies were advertised in the NHS between January and March this year. Of the 28,998 posts advertised in March, 40 per cent were for nurses and midwives and 21 per cent for administrative and clerical staff. NHS Improvement, the health service’s financial regulator, said in May that the NHS was short of 35,794 nurses and 9,982 doctors.

Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “It’s very worrying that the number of vacant posts for nurses and midwives has increased more than those for any other type of clinical staff, with almost 35,000 vacant posts for nurses and midwives advertised in the first three months of this year, an increase of 1,800 on the previous year. We also know that not all vacant nurse jobs are even advertised in the current climate, so these figures will be an under-estimate.

“They bear out what patients, their families and our own surveys repeatedly tell us – that there just aren’t enough nurses to provide safe care. But with the number of applications to nursing degree courses having dropped by almost third in the two years since the Government removed funding for nursing students, the serious risk is that we will soon see fewer nurses on wards and in the community, not more.

“The Government must use the recent NHS funding deal to bring on the next generation of nurses, and to invest in the current workforce to stop these losses
Source: https://inews.co.uk/nhs/nhs-doctors-nurses-highest-level-record/

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