London's hospitals only able to fill one in 25 vacant nursing posts

23 Jan 2018

The scale of the capital's nursing recruitment crisis has been laid bare by RCN London analysis of NHS figures which show that across London, hospitals are only able to fill one in 25 advertised nurse vacancies.

The data, published by NHS Digital, reveals that as of September 2017 nurse vacancies hit a high of 7,659 in the capital, with just 4 per cent (one in 25) of those advertised nursing posts being successfully filled.


According to the data, London’s recruitment rate is the second worst in the country and lags significantly behind the national average of one in seven vacancies being successfully appointed to.


The situation was markedly better in other areas of the country such as the West Midlands where NHS providers recruited 1,196 for 2,817 roles advertised (42 per cent).


RCN London has warned that the staffing crisis in the capital is likely to be worse than the figures suggest because multiple vacancies at NHS Trusts are often advertised and recorded as single posts.


This latest analysis comes after last week, when the BBC showed that in England, more nurses were leaving the NHS than joining.


The latest data from NHS Digital shows that:


·         In North West London – home to trusts such as Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust –  just 42 nurses were recruited out of 2,545 posts (less than one in 50).


·         North Central and East London – where Barts Health NHS Trust, University College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust operate – 75 nurses were recruited from 2,243 advertised posts (3 per cent)


·         In South London – home to St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust – 178 nurses were recruited from 2,171 posts (8 per cent)


RCN London Regional Director Bernell Bussue, said:


“These figures paint a shocking picture across London, where thousands of nursing posts lay empty despite hospitals desperately advertising to fill them. Years of pay cuts whilst being asked to work harder than ever in underfunded services has left nurses of today and tomorrow opting to walk away from what is an immensely rewarding career. The problem is not the willingness of providers to employ nurses, but the fact that they are having to fish from an ever shrinking pool. With only one nurse for every 25 jobs in the capital, patient care is being put at risk.


“The government must now finally realise that It is not sustainable or safe to continue undervaluing the nursing workforce. We need to see an above inflation pay rise that will help nurses to live and work in London as well as a commitment to properly fund the health and care services they work in.”


Page last updated - 15/06/2018