Shortage of nurses examined by Health Committee

13 September 2017

The Health Committee examines the shortage of nursing staff in England. English health and care services are facing a shortage of nursing staff, as noted by the National Audit Office, Health Education England and the Communities and Local Government Select Committee.  

Shortfall in nursing staff

Figures published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in July 2017 show that more people are now leaving the professional register than joining.  There are many factors contributing to the shortfall in nursing staff, which can affect the quality of care for patients and the performance of NHS and social care services.


The Health Committee wishes to examine whether the Government and other responsible bodies have a robust plan in place to address the shortfall of nursing staff and to ensure they are held accountable for their performance. The Committee is therefore seeking evidence on the current and future scale of the shortfall of nursing staff and whether the Government, arms-length bodies, NHS, community and specialist providers and other partners have effective plans in place to recruit, train and retain this vital workforce.

Routes into nursing

This inquiry will assess the impact of new routes into nursing (including student funding reforms, the Apprenticeship Levy, Nurse First and nursing associates). In particular, the inquiry will examine the effect of changes to funding arrangements for nurse training, including the withdrawal of bursaries, and consider alternative funding models and incentives.

The Committee would like to receive suggestions for how policymakers could optimise the potential of new routes into nursing, as well as how they might retain and deploy existing staff more effectively. The committee is also interested in the impact of language testing and Brexit.

Submissions of no more than 3000 words are invited by Thursday 12 October 2017.

The Committee expects to hear oral evidence in November. 

Further information

Image: PA

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