NMC responds to NHS workforce projections report

Published on 20 July 2022

Read our response below.

We’ve responded to the Health Foundation’s REAL Centre NHS workforce projections 2022 report. This projects a shortfall of around 38,000 nurses in the NHS in England relative to demand in 2023–2024.

Andrea Sutcliffe, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“This report chimes with our latest registration data, which we published in May. We welcomed the rise in the number of professionals on our register, but also highlighted the need for a sustainable workforce plan that takes demand for health and care services into account.

“That’s because, as this report illustrates, the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed demand for care higher. We saw the impact of this in our own survey of people who left the NMC register last year – more than a third of respondents said the pandemic influenced their decision to leave, with some worrying about increased workloads and a lack of staff.

“The Health Foundation report also highlights the increased reliance on internationally trained professionals joining the UK workforce. We value our internationally trained professionals but we can’t take them for granted. The pandemic has shown that drawing on the global workforce means we’re exposed and vulnerable to world events which could put future health and social care plans in jeopardy.

“There are no easy solutions. But the Health Foundation is right to focus on staff recruitment, retention and wellbeing. National and local health and care leaders need to focus on all three if we’re to close the gap between the nurses we’re likely to have and the nurses we’ll need in the years ahead.”

For further media enquiries, please contact the NMC press office via email media@nmc-uk.org or 07881 327 517

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