PAC report makes need for more nurses 'abundantly clear', NHS Confederation says

Danny Mortimer

Responding to the Public Accounts Committee's 'NHS Nursing Workforce' report, Danny Mortimer, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:

“We were concerned by some of the findings of this report, as it makes abundantly clear that the NHS and social care both still need many more nurses going forward, although we welcome the Department of Health and Social Care’s recent commitment to rectifying this. This includes the commitment made in August of £172 million to support employers with nurse degree apprenticeships, as well as funding for 420 nursing associates and assistant practitioners to ‘top up’ to become nurses. We also welcomed Ruth May’s letter to regional chief nurses and nursing directors, which set out a commitment of £28 million for international recruitment of nurses.
“We know, of course, that employers are also working hard to address this issue through retention and recruitment, but they will want greater clarity from national NHS leaders, who need to better quantify how many nurses they expect to join the profession from each of the routes available.
“The fact is, we both need more nursing staff now and also need a clearer plan for the longer term, particularly in areas such as mental health and learning disability. We now await the second part of the People Plan and the Comprehensive Spending Review, and would stress how important it is that both set in motion further concrete action to address the shortage of nurses, especially as the COVID-19 crisis continues. This must include retaining the nurses who stepped up to support the NHS during the pandemic, and addressing the inequality that still holds back those from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds.”

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