The National Health Service employs record numbers of staff, in 2018 - over 1.2 million or 1,074,209 full time equivalents. This is an increase of 63,100 since May 2010, with more staff than at any other time in its 70 year history and significant growth in newly qualified staff over the period from 2010. As at 30 September 2018, there were almost 103,000 healthcare vacancies in the NHS, which are largely filled by agency and bank staff.
In 2018 we committed to:
- increasing NHS funding by an average of 3.4% per year, meaning that by 2023/24 the NHS will receive £20.5 billion a year more than it currently does;
- giving around one million NHS staff a well-deserved pay rise, with all staff receiving at least a 3% pay increase by the end of 2018/2019;
- increasing the number of training places for doctors, nurses and midwives, with more general practitioners than ever starting training in the NHS this year; and
- we are delivering an additional 1,500 undergraduate medical places, including an additional 90 places at Hull York Medical School and as part of the expansion opening five new medical schools across England.
The NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January 2019, sets out a vital strategic framework to ensure that over the next 10 years the NHS will have the staff it needs so that nurses and doctors have the time they need to care, working in a supportive culture that allows them to provide the expert compassionate care they are committed providing.
My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has commissioned Baroness Dido Harding, working closely with Sir David Behan, to lead a number of programmes to engage with key NHS interests to develop a detailed workforce implementation plan. These programmes will consider detailed proposals to grow the workforce rapidly, including consideration of additional staff and skills required, build a supportive working culture in the NHS and ensure first rate leadership for NHS staff.