There are currently almost 40,000 registered nurse vacancies in the NHS in England, with thousands more vacant posts across public health, social care and the independent sector.
Having the right number of registered nurses with the right knowledge, skills and experience is critical to the delivery of safe and effective care. Posts left unfilled also put enormous pressure on nursing staff as patients expect the same level of care, but delivered by fewer nurses.
In January 2019, NHS England published its Long Term Plan, which set out its vision for the next 10 years. We've welcomed the ambition in the plan. However, it cannot be delivered without urgent and meaningful action to address the growing workforce crisis.
We're clear this should be through legislation.