- Analysis of the NHS staff profile and trends in England in 2018 largely confirms the trends identified in our previous reports, showing an ongoing deterioration for some key staff groups.
- The past year has seen modest growth of 1.8% in the total number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff. However, this is against a backdrop of more than 100,000 vacancies reported in total by trusts, including more than 41,000 vacant nursing posts.
- Staffing in some key areas is a problem. The number of GPs is falling, as is the number of nurses and health visitors working in community and mental health services.
- The government has committed to increasing the number of nurses in training, however, in the past year the number of applications and acceptances for pre-registration nursing degrees in England both fell.
- Staff retention has worsened since 2011/12 and our analysis shows there has been no improvement over the past year.
- International recruitment will remain vital to achieving the overall staffing numbers needed, but it is currently being constrained by broader migration policies and by the uncertainties of Brexit.
This is our third annual report analysing the staff profile and trends in the NHS workforce in England. It is intended to be read as an annual update, examining changes in the overall profile of NHS staffing in 2018.
As well as assessing the implications of trends in NHS staffing, this report also focuses in more detail on two critical ‘pressure points’ – the retention and attrition of NHS staff in general, and then student nurse attrition.
It is being published at a critical moment. The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, sets out an ambitious programme of service-delivery expansion and change. It recognises that the NHS workforce can be the enabler of its objectives. However, if the existing workforce shortages continue, they will severely hinder progress.
This report sets out recommendations for improving these worrying trends. It then concludes with a brief assessment of ‘where next’ in terms of health workforce policy and planning in England, in the context of ongoing reforms of the NHS.
New analysis shows NHS staff numbers are failing to keep pace with demand, and that there is ongoing deterioration in workfor...
Adequate funding and a strategic, long-term approach to planning are needed for a sufficient and skilled workforce.
You might also like...
Health Foundation response to the Prime Minister’s announcement of funding for cancer screening.
Jo Bibby explores why investing in the future of young people needs to be at the heart of public policy.
Analysis by Nursing Standard and the Health Foundation shows a quarter of all nursing students are leaving or suspending thei...
Health Foundation @HealthFdn
The NHS has a wealth of data - but too few people with the skills to make sense of this data and improve patient ca… https://t.co/IDV1lXPDYAFollow us on Twitter
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
The Q Community
Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.Find out more