NHS Confederation responds to the latest NHS vacancy statistics

Rory Deighton responds to the recent NHS vacancy statistics

2 March 2023

Responding to the recent NHS vacancy statisticsRory Deighton director of the NHS Confederation's acute network, said:

"Whilst these numbers show a small drop in NHS staff vacancies since the last quarter, healthcare leaders are concerned that chronic workforce shortages risk seriously undermining the NHS’ efforts to recover from the pandemic and make continued strides in bringing down waiting lists for elective care.

“The NHS has delivered so much for its patients, especially in the middle of a perfect storm this winter, including bringing down the number of patients who have been waiting longest for elective procedures, as well as driving improvements in tests and checks. It will continue to do everything it can for its patients, including prioritising the most urgent cases, but there needs to be added focus on how staff can be retained and more recruited to reduce pressures on the NHS.”

“Many staff feel exhausted and burnt out and are choosing to leave the NHS at a time when every staff member is so important to the service’s recovery. With 124,000 vacant posts, including over 40,000 vacancies in nursing, especially now with the added pressure of intense waves of industrial action, NHS leaders are urgently calling for the government to set out the overdue, promised workforce plan to fill these gaps and make sure the health service can continue to care for and meet the needs of its patients as safely and quickly as possible.”