NHS: Labour Turnover and Recruitment

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 24th November 2022.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) increase the size of and (b) improve retention in the NHS workforce.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

We aim to deliver an additional 50,000 nurses by the end of March 2024, with over 29,000 more nurses currently working in the National Health Service compared to September 2019. Since September 2020, all eligible nursing, midwifery and allied health profession students have received a non-repayable training grant of a minimum of £5,000 per academic year. Additional funding is also available for studying certain courses, with further financial support available for childcare, dual accommodation costs and travel. The Government has funded a further 1,500 medical school places each year for domestic students in England and the first graduates from this expansion entered foundation training in August 2022. This has also delivered five new medical schools in England.

NHS England’s retention programme seeks to understand why staff leave and provide targeted interventions to support staff to stay, with each trust required to have retention action plans to target support locally. In July 2022, NHS England asked each NHS organisation to prioritise the delivery of five actions on nursing and midwifery retention, including enhanced support for those joining the NHS, menopause support and improved advice and guidance for those later in their career with flexible working and pensions. The Department has commissioned NHS England to develop a long-term workforce plan. The plan will consider the number of staff and the roles required and will set out the actions and reforms needed to improve workforce supply and retention.

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