Nurses: Recruitment

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 26th June 2019.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to achieve the target in the NHS Long Term Plan of recruiting 40,000 extra nurses in the next five years.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The interim People Plan published on 3 June 2019 sets out some of the steps needed to ensure the National Health Service have the staff they need to deliver high quality care, including growing our nursing workforce by 40,000 in the next five years.

The interim People Plan commits to providing funding for an additional 5,000 clinical placements for pre-registration nurse training places each year, as well as reducing attrition from training courses and expanding the international recruitment of nurses. To support this commitment NHS Improvement and NHS England are currently delivering a rapid clinical placement expansion programme, working with NHS trust directors of nursing to provide targeted support and resource to increase placement capacity for the September 2019 student intake. NHS Improvement and NHS England have also committed to undertake a comprehensive review of clinical placement activity to increase expansion and student intakes in future years.

The interim People Plan stresses the importance of improving the retention of our existing nursing workforce. To that effect NHS Improvement and NHS Employers have been working in partnership to deliver a national programme to support NHS trusts improve the retention of their nursing and clinical workforce focusing on key issues such as flexible working, development and career planning.

The interim People Plan also outlines the need to support more nurses to return to practice. NHS Improvement has committed to launch a new return to practice campaign, alongside a new marketing campaign, to highlight the opportunities and support available.

A full People Plan will be published soon after the conclusion of the Spending Review when there is further clarity on NHS education and training budgets.

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