Responding to the latest workforce statistics published by NHS Digital, Nick Ville, director of policy and membership at the NHS Confederation, said: “The NHS faces ever-increasing demand with only small year-on-year increases in staffing numbers shown by today’s figures and vacancies of 90,000 in England.
“NHS leaders have told us repeatedly that workforce is their number one concern and, most recently, two thirds of system leaders said they were not confident they would be able to meet workforce demands.
“We desperately need to attract more people and keep those we have working with us if the NHS is not to overheat and to ensure we are providing great care to people in need.
“To some extent we are reliant on action from government - this includes setting a realistic budget for Health Education England to restore investment in continuing professional development and reform of the apprenticeship levy. The government should also consider other potential financial incentives to attract people into training following the end of the nursing bursary.”