NHS Employers responds to NHS recruiting 50,000 more nurses

Danny Mortimer responds to NHS recruiting 50,000 more nurses

30 November 2023

Responding to figures confirming the government has hit its target to recruit 50,000 more nurses Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers which is part of the NHS Confederation, said:

“The active support of government and concerted efforts of NHS leaders, locally and nationally, have made a real difference to the number of nurses working in the NHS.

“The drop in the vacancy rate is also very welcome news, although we are still concerned that there are more than 120,000 vacancies across England. We are also concerned about the persistent gaps and risks in some areas, with the number of learning disability nurses working in the NHS falling by nearly 50% in the last 14 years. The number of mental health nurses has also grown at a slower rate than general nursing and has a higher vacancy rate than other sectors.

“While we know there is a lot more to do to fill the remaining vacancies, this data, on top of the continued growth of the NMC register, shows the positive impact of initiatives by employers to improve recruitment and retention. However, it is vital the continued expansion of the workforce, set out in the NHS England Long-Term Workforce Plan, is now maintained.

“International recruitment has significantly helped the government hit its nurse recruitment target and is more evidence of the vital and positive contribution foreign workers make to the NHS. We would reiterate our warning to the Prime Minister that tightening visa requirements for health and social care staff could be ruinous for the NHS.”