NHS vacancy levels run At a 90,000 high per quarter
Latest figures from NHS digital show that there were 93,964 full time vacancies in NHS England in the third quarter of 2018, spanning from July 1st to September 30th. This figure included 37,917 vaccines for nursing and midwifery posts alone.
Regionally there were 4,353 nursing vacancies in the East of England and 6,138 in the North Wes – the highest numbers of any other region in England.
Chief Executive of NHS Employers, Danny Mortimer, responding to the figures said: “This is more evidence that teams across the NHS are under enormous pressure”
Mr. Mortimer acknowledged a clear commitment to address this in the Long Term Plan, but that that: “ the NHS will need the support of other parts of government to improve the recruitment and retention of our people.”
He insists that the government needs to urgently address issues like the apprenticeship levy, the immigration white paper, public sector pensions; training and education budgets with clarity and additional investment.
NHS England have also cited the apprenticeship levy as a key area for NHS Trusts to make the most out of. In addition to extending the timeframe that the levy is available to Trusts, NHS England states that the levy should be used to build their development and training facilities, fund employer costs for apprenticeships that require a certain degree of off the job.
Due to the uncertainty posed by Brexit over European Economic Area workers being able to immigrate to the UK, migrant workers wanting to work in the NHS could be becoming increasingly deterred from doing so.
It is claimed by The Welsh Audit Office that from 2017-18, NHS spending on agency staff peaked at £135.7m in wales alone, with 82% of this figure purely designed to cater for staff vacancies.