Responding to the latest mid-year registration report from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers part of the NHS Confederation said:
"Employers will welcome the continued growth in the numbers of both UK and internationally trained nurses and midwives joining the register between April and September 2023. This supports the aims of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan and in particular the sustained investment there will be in growing undergraduate and degree apprenticeship routes into careers in nursing, midwifery and health visiting. The NMC’s report provides a strong incentive to continue the support of the varied routes into NHS employment including T-levels, apprenticeships, and traditional degrees, which have played a major role in increasing the number of joiners.
"There is not complacency however, particularly in the face of the continued pressures on NHS services and teams. We must continue to improve working conditions to make sure new graduates and existing staff want to stay in the NHS. If anything, retention is just as important as attracting new staff into the NHS and will be key in the short term to preventing pressures from worsening and ensuring the recruitment base we are looking to build from has solid foundations.
"The positive impact of some of these initiatives can be seen in the drop of leavers, which is very welcome. We are also starting to see the benefits of employers offering measures like flexible working, career development and flexible retirement opportunities to support staff retention.
"The report is also a timely reminder to the Government of the vital contribution that nurses recruited from overseas are making to social care and health services across the UK, a contribution that we will continue to rely on for some time yet."