New NHS recruitment figures reveal extent of nursing staffing crisis in the South West

24 Jan 2018

New figures released by the NHS have revealed that more than 85 per cent of nursing vacancies remain unfilled in the South West and Wessex area.

The statistics from NHS Digital reveal that in the quarter from 1 April 2017 to 30 June 2017, of 3,691 vacancies advertised, only 535 (less than 15 per cent) were filled.

Jeannett Martin, Regional Director of the Royal College of Nursing, South West Region, said: 

“These figures are further proof that the NHS is desperately short of nurses. The Government can no longer deny the staffing crisis and must act now to address the problem. The NHS is busier than ever and is losing experienced nurses quicker than it can find new ones. Long-serving staff are feeling demoralised and pushed to leave nursing in droves. Record pressure, inadequate funding to provide safe care, poor pay for staff and the prospect of huge debt from training is putting people off joining the profession.”

Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, added: “When the Government allows nursing on the cheap, patients can pay the highest price. It is time to draw a line under this false economy with urgent investment in services and those who provide them – including a pay rise above inflation – and legislation to make ministers accountable for workforce planning and safe staffing levels.”

Page last updated - 27/09/2018