The incoming government must ensure migration policy is not a barrier to recruiting nurses from abroad Health Foundation response to NHS Vacancy Statistics for England

28 November 2019

Responding to today’s figures, Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation, said:

‘Today’s figures are a further reminder of the growing workforce crisis that threatens patient care, with 1 in 8 nursing posts vacant across the NHS. Nurses play a critical role in the health service and without concerted action, the number of unfilled nursing posts could double over the next 5 years. The NHS in England is struggling to train and recruit enough nurses and hospitals are increasingly reliant on unqualified support staff to bridge the gap.

‘The next government needs to ensure that we train more nurses and to do that it will have to address the financial problems that trainee nurses currently face. But training new nurses takes time and over the next few years, international recruitment is the only way to fill the gaps – we will need at least 5,000 nurses from other countries each year for the next 5 years. The incoming government must ensure that migration policy is not a barrier to achieving this.’

Media contact

Simon Perry
Simon.Perry@health.org.uk
020 7257 2093

Further reading

Research report

Falling short: the NHS workforce challenge

Our fourth annual report analysing the staff profile and trends in the NHS workforce in England in 2018/19.

Briefing

Election briefing: A sustainable workforce

The third and final Health Foundation briefing ahead of the 2017 General Election considers the steps that might be needed to...

You might also like...

Report

Public perceptions of health and social care

This Ipsos MORI survey, conducted on behalf of the Health Foundation for the 2019 General Election, found people are willing ...

Press release

Two thirds of people want tax increase to pay for health and social care, according to new poll

A survey conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Health Foundation indicates that there is increasing public support for pay...

Press release

The three main parties are offering different visions of what the public can expect from the NHS

Health Foundation analysis of parties’ NHS and social care funding pledges for the 2019 General Election.

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more