Tackling the nursing shortage

The Open University | May 2018 | The Open University: Tackling the nursing shortage

Tackling the nursing shortage, the  new publication from The Open University considers the financial impact of temporary staffing to address the shortage, which the report describes this as “an expensive, short-term approach to plugging the gaps – [as] it costs the NHS nearly £1.5 billion a year.”  It also outlines many of the factors driving the shortage, suggesting that new routes into the profession, like apprenticeships, can help to plug the gap and future-proof the nursing workforce in the long-term (Open University).

The Open University
Image source: open.ac.uk

Using data obtained by The Open University under the Freedom of Information Act, the report calculates that if the hours  currently worked by temporary staff were instead covered by permanent nurses, the NHS could save as much as £560 million a year. This funding could otherwise be used to pay for continuing professional development or improved services.  

The report can be downloaded from The Open University 

In the media:

The Telegraph Nurse shortages cost the NHS up to £2.4 billion last year

The Independent NHS spending £1.5bn a year on temporary nurses as staff leave in droves, study reveals

The adult social care workforce in England

The findings of a report by the National Audit Office shows that the Department of Heath and Social Care is not doing enough to support a sustainable social care workforce. elder-1471399_1920
The number of people working in care is not meeting the country’s growing care demands and unmet care needs are increasing, according to today’s report by the National Audit Office (NAO).

There are around 1.34 million jobs in the adult social care sector in England, across more than 20,300 organisations. The turnover rate of care staff has been increasing since 2012-13 and in 2016-17 reached 27.8%. The vacancy rate in 2016-17 for jobs across social care was 6.6%, which was well above the national average of 2.5%-2.7%.

However, demographic trends suggest that demand for care will continue to increase and people’s cares needs will continue to become more complex. To meet these challenges, the Department estimates that the workforce will need to grow by 2.6% every year until 2035.

More information can be found  NAO

The press release can be read here

The National Audit Office have also published a full summary 

Increasing number of nurses and midwives leaving profession

Data published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) shows there continues to be an increase in the number of nurses and midwives leaving its register over the last 12 months.

Overall, the number of nurses and midwives on the register has started to drop for the first time in a decade:

  • There were just under 690,000 nurses and midwives registered to work in the UK in September – over 1,600 less than there were the year before
  • The register showed just over 36,200 EU nurses and midwives – over 2,700 less than a year before
  • Over the last 12 months the number of UK graduates leaving the profession has increased by 9%
  • The number of nurses and midwives from Europe leaving the register has also increased by 67%
  • The number joining the register from the EU has dropped from 10,178 last year to 1,107 this year, a decrease of 89%

The NMC Register can be viewed here

nmc
Image source: www.nmc.org.uk

Related:

Rising pressure: the NHS workforce challenge

New report highlights that national policy and planning for the NHS Workforce in England is not fit for purpose. Also reports high staff turnover, and a fall in the number of trainee nurses. 

This report from the Health Foundation analyses the profile and trends of the NHS workforce, in particular focusing on the impact of the removal of the NHS bursary on student nurse numbers and staff retention.  The report highlights that national policy and planning for the NHS workforce in England is not fit for purpose, reinstating the need for a sustained and nationally focused approach to workforce policy and planning.

Full report: Rising pressure: the NHS workforce challenge | The Health Foundation.

Improving new starter turnover: case study

NHS Employers

East-Kent-Starter-Turnover
Source: NHS Employers

This case study outlines how East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust worked to improve experiences of staff in their first year of employment at the trust. The trust improved the overall on-boarding experience including starting induction before day one in the role and introducing an online portal for new starters, along with the benefits and the challenges of doing so. This work has resulted in an improvement in new starter turnover of nearly 20 per cent.