2020 sees increase in NHS nurse numbers

2020 Year of the Nurse sees increase in NHS nurse numbers

This year has seen an increase in the number of doctors and nurses working for the NHS, according to newly published figures.

2020 marks the World Health Organization’s International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, and the year has seen an increase in the number of doctors and nurses working for the NHS.

The number of doctors has increased by 9,306, and the number of nurses has increased by 13,840 compared to last years’ figures published until the end of May. This means professionally qualified clinical staff, doctors, paramedics, and support to clinical staff have reached record levels.

Increasing care in the UK

The figures for May include former healthcare professionals who have volunteered to return to the frontline during the pandemic. May figures also show that 592 returners were identified, of which there are 102 doctors and 157 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.

Responding to today’s NHS workforce statistics, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is fantastic to see we have record numbers of staff working in our NHS, and as set out last month in the NHS People Plan, we must strive to make the NHS the best possible place to work for all. This will help us retain more of our hardworking staff and ensure the NHS can continue to protect us, as we protected it throughout the peak of this pandemic.

“With the latest UCAS figures already showing a 14% rise in people accepting places on nursing courses in England, we are well on our way to delivering 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament. We have protected the NHS, and we are investing record sums into the NHS, hiring more doctors and nurses so that the NHS is always there for you and your family.”

A Levels see a rise in nursing acceptances

Last week’s A Level results have also seen a 14% rise in acceptances for both nursing and midwifery according to the latest UCAS statistics, with a further rise expected during clearing.

Last month 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
  • Support to keep staff physically safe and healthy
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