About 40,000 nursing posts are now vacant in the NHS in England as the service heads for the worst recruitment crisis in its history, according to official new data.
Responses to Freedom of Information requests submitted to trusts by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) show that one in nine posts are now unfilled – double the level in 2013. The data obtained by the RCN also suggests that fewer care providers are now employing registered nurses, raising new fears over patient safety.
Research in all four countries of the United Kingdom, carried out by ComRes for the RCN, shows that four out of five NHS nursing directors are worried that their hospitals rely on the goodwill of staff to keep services running, while two out of three say the financial pressures of maintaining an adequate service are worsening.
Commenting on the report, Steve Howson, CEO at Healthperm Resourcing, said “Healthperm recognizes the challenges that many Trusts face with attracting student nurses in the current climate and are able to support permanent International recruitment from the Philippines and the Middle East as part of an integrated workforce strategy which supports the NHS in the both the short and long-term.”
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