The NHS’s deepening shortage of nurses is worst in the part of England that contains Theresa May’s Maidenhead constituency, with hospitals there only able to recruit one nurse for every 400 vacancies they have, new NHS figures reveal.
Hospitals in the Thames Valley managed to fill just five of the 1,957 vacancies for nurses that they advertised between April and June – a success rate of 0.25% – according to the latest official NHS vacancy statistics.
NHS Digital’s quarterly update detailing vacancy rates for a range of health professionals also showed that the number of unfilled nursing and midwifery posts in England reached 34,260 in the three months to September – the highest level since records began.
The Royal College of Nursing voiced its alarm at how the unprecedented number of such vacancies had revealed “an NHS desperately short of nurses”.
Hospitals in London are also finding it almost impossible to recruit new nurses, according to NHS Digital’s new figures. For example, NHS care providers in north-west London advertised on NHS Jobs to recruit 2,545 nurses and midwives in April, May and June but only managed to get 42 new faces – 1.65% of those they were seeking.