The nursing workforce

The Health Committee has published its report into the nursing workforce. It says too little attention has been focused on retaining nurses which has resulted in more nurses leaving, than joining the nursing register. 

nursing workforce
Image source: publications.

The report calls for Health Education England to reverse cuts to nurses’ continuing professional development budgets. Funding allocated to trusts should be specifically ringfenced for CPD for nurses, and specific funding should also be made available to support CPD for nurses working in the community.

The Committee welcomed the introduction of the new role of Nursing Associate and the expansion of career opportunities this brings for Health Care Assistants. The government needs to ensure that these new Nursing Associates have a clear professional identity, which the public understands and recognises.

An interactive version of the full report is also available

The report’s  summary is here

Click here for the report’s conclusions and recommendations




Health & Care workforce strategy

This draft strategy sets out the current workforce landscape, what has been achieved since 2012, and describes an approach to shaping the face of the NHS and social care workforce for the next two decades.

Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future – a health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027 condenses and considers the outputs of major workforce plans for the priorities laid out in the Five Year Forward View – cancer, mental health, maternity, primary and community care and urgent and emergency care.

The consultation starts 13 December 2017 and finishes on Friday March 23, 2018.
To take part in the consultation, click on the website link below and complete the survey.

Related: Health Foundation responds to new workforce strategy

NHS Employers: Flexible working

The UK workforce is more diverse than ever and demands for flexible working arrangements are on the increase. Flexible working is part of good employment practice and these top tips from NHS Employers have been designed to help maximise arrangements in your organisation.

Document available here


Rising pressure: the NHS workforce challenge

New report highlights that national policy and planning for the NHS Workforce in England is not fit for purpose. Also reports high staff turnover, and a fall in the number of trainee nurses. 

This report from the Health Foundation analyses the profile and trends of the NHS workforce, in particular focusing on the impact of the removal of the NHS bursary on student nurse numbers and staff retention.  The report highlights that national policy and planning for the NHS workforce in England is not fit for purpose, reinstating the need for a sustained and nationally focused approach to workforce policy and planning.

Full report: Rising pressure: the NHS workforce challenge | The Health Foundation.


The Recruitment, Retention And Return Of Nurses To General Practice Nursing In England

This report, authored by Ipsos MORI, outlines the findings of qualitative research into the drivers and barriers to entry into general practice nursing (GPN) | NHS England

NHS Framework Documant 2008

It finds that the general perception is that general practice is more suitable for older or more experienced nurses. As student placements in general practice are rare, there is a lack of opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the GPN role. The research also highlights the need for greater support for GPNs and the lack of standardisation in pay for GPN roles.


GP Forward View falling short on workforce but it is still the lifeline general practice needs

NHS England’s General Practice Forward View is falling short in its pledge to build the GP workforce by 5,000 more full-time equivalent family doctors by 2020, the Royal College of GPs has concluded today | RCGP

Image source: RCGP

The College’s Annual Assessment of the plan, that was launched in April 2016, recognises that NHS England is making progress in delivering many of its approximately 100 pledges – and that the commitment to spend an additional £2.4 billion each year on general practice by 2020/21 is on track.

But the College’s analysis, based on the most up to date statistical and member feedback, raises concerns that the GP Forward View is not having the positive impact on frontline general practice and patient care to the extent and with the speed that is needed.

Today’s report follows an interim assessment by the College, published in January, that found whilst progress is being made, national ambition was not being matched by local delivery and many GPs had yet to see significant change.


New figures show an increase in numbers of nurses and midwives leaving the professions

New figures show an increase in the number of nurses and midwives leaving our register while at the same time, numbers joining have slowed down. This has resulted in an overall reduction in the numbers of nurses and midwives registered to work in the UK | NMC

Letter of resignation
Image source: Danni Atherton – Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Recently public attention has focused on the reducing number of EU nurses and midwives joining our register. But today’s figures show that it is mainly UK nurses and midwives who are leaving the register, resulting in the overall downward trend.

For the first time in recent history the numbers leaving are now outstripping the numbers joining with this trend most pronounced for UK nurses and midwives who make up around 85 per cent of the register. Between 2016 and 2017, 45 per cent more UK registrants left the register than joined it for the first time.

Data also seems to show that more nurses and midwives are leaving the register before retirement age with a noticeable increase in those aged under 40 leaving.

Earlier this month we conducted a survey of more than 4,500 nurses and midwives who left the register over the previous 12 months. Excluding retirement, the top reasons given included working conditions, (including issues such as staffing levels), a change in personal circumstances (such as ill health or caring responsibilities) and a disillusionment with the quality of care provided to patients