Responding to today’s NHS workforce statistics, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
As a nation, we are immensely proud of our health and care staff who work round the clock to keep us safe. It is fantastic that there are over 13,700 more nurses and 7,800 more doctors working in our NHS, and by the end of this Parliament we will deliver on our commitment of 50,000 more nurses.
While this virus remains a perilous threat it is critical that the public observes the restrictions in their area, so our NHS and care staff can continue to do their incredible work. Help us to help you, so the NHS is always there for us in our hour of need.
Alongside this, the latest UCAS figures out last month show there are record numbers of people accepting a place to study nursing in England, with a 23% increase on the same time last year, or 5,000 more student nurses.
Over the summer, the NHS People Plan set out how the NHS will put staff wellbeing at its heart with a 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.
This week the NHS announced £15 million to strengthen mental health support for nurses, paramedics, therapists, pharmacists and support staff. Staff will get rapid access to expanded mental health services that are being rolled out across the country as part of efforts to deal with the second wave of coronavirus.
The figures for July include some former healthcare professionals who bravely volunteered to return to the frontline during the pandemic. July figures also show that 598 returners were identified, of which there are 80 doctors and 147 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.
Over the last year (July 2019 to July 2020):
- the number of nurses has gone up by 13,718, from 281,474 to 295,193
- the number of doctors has gone up by 7,810, from 112,797 to 120,607
Student nurses do not have full registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), and so are counted as ‘support to clinical staff’. They are not included in the ‘nurses’ count. Medical students are on the same standing as Foundation 1 doctors, and so are counted as ‘doctors’ in the statistics.
NHS Professionals is an organisation in the UK that supplies temporary staff to the NHS.