How can the NHS retain its nurses without improving pay?

02 February 2024
Volume 35 · Issue 2

As the first year of the month comes to a close, NHS England announced some rare good news. According to their new data, there have never been more nurses or midwives working in the health services as there are today.

The data shows the number of nurses and midwives working in the NHS in England is now at 372,411. According to NHS England, this is the highest recorded number ever, meaning there over 20,000 more in the NHS workforce going into this winter compared with last year.

NHS chiefs credited this ‘unprecedented’ growth in the NHS workforce to the health service opening new routes into the professions and expanding international recruitment and retention initiatives, with Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, saying: ‘It's good to see today's figures which show growth in these roles across the NHS. Of course, we still have some way to go which is why it is vital we continue to build our workforce as set out in the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan – through increasing the number of future nurses and midwives in training and improving retention. Key to this is improving the experiences of our colleagues who work so hard to provide patients and the public with the very best care.’

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