1st November 2017

Policy Experts Warn Of 'Failing Nurse Workforce Plans' In NHS

Policy Experts Warn Of 'Failing Nurse Workforce Plans' In NHS


According to Health Foundation report, the National policy and planning for the NHS workforce in England is “not fit for purpose”. The report found high staff turnover and instability across the NHS, and a drop in the number of trainee nurses.

In some National Health Service (NHS) trusts as much as 30 per cent of staff are leaving each year, meaning “a huge amount” of time and money is being spent on recruitment, just to maintain the same headcount.

The Health Foundation report, ‘Rising pressure: the NHS workforce challenge’, found that the NHS workforce increased by 2 per cent in the year to April 2017. There was a rise in managers and consultants but a fall in the number of nurses (0.2%) and GPs (0.7%).

However, there has so far been a drop of 1,220 in the number of students starting undergraduate nursing courses this year. The report identifies the two biggest reasons for this as the poor implementation of the reforms, and even poorer communication from the government departments.

The chief Executive of NHS Employers, Danny Mortimer said that the results of the survey were worrying because it put services in danger and risked any progress made in staff retention.

While national support is important, particularly in relation to funding the training of existing staff, employers in the NHS are also taking action in their own organisations to reduce rates of staff leaving the NHS, he added.

Responding to the report, Janet Davies, the Chief Executive of Royal College of Nursing said the drop in the number of nurses this year is deeply worrying, and particularly damaging when nurses are having to cope with rising numbers of patients.

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