NHS recruitment drive hits all time high
Acceptances for NHS nurses and nursing students in NHS England have increased by 23 per cent (14,199) compared to 2019. The number of doctors has also risen by 9,283, new figures show.
All professionally qualified clinical staff, paramedics and support clinical staff are also at record levels.
In addition to the record-breaking numbers, the latest UCAS figures show there are record numbers of people accepting a place to study nursing in England, with a 23 per cent increase on the same time last year – the equivalent to 5,000 more student nurses.
Responding to the NHS workforce statistics, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The NHS is there for us all in our hour of need, and the safety of our health and social care staff that support us day in, day out is my top priority. It is fantastic to see over 14,100 more nurses and over 9,200 more doctors working in the NHS, putting it in the best possible position to continue tackling this global health emergency."
In July, the NHS People Plan set out how the NHS will put staff wellbeing at its heart with new recruitment, retention and support package. It sets out practical support for wellbeing, such as safe spaces to rest and recuperate, wellbeing guardians and support to keep staff physically safe and healthy.
While positive for the sector, the figures for June include some former healthcare professionals who volunteered to return to the frontline during the pandemic.
The June figures show that 649 returners were identified, including 102 doctors and 165 nurses and health visitors. Not all returners are reflected in the monthly workforce stats as they could have been employed on fixed term, honorary or bank contracts, or via NHS Professionals.