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England’s CNO says 50,000 more NHS nurses ‘no longer enough’

The chief nursing officer for England has spoken about the ongoing shortages of nurses across the country and how the government’s previous pledge for 50,000 more nurses is now “not enough”.

At one of her first in-person speeches since the start of the pandemic, Ruth May also revealed that she thought the removal of the student nurse bursary in England was “fundamentally the wrong decision”.

Ms May was speaking at an event organised by the League of St Bartholomew’s Nurses in honour of pioneering nurse Pam Hibbs, who died following a Covid-19 infection last year.

During her keynote address, Ms May said workforce remained a “big focus” for her team due to the “shortage” of nursing staff nationally.

She said work to address the gaps was centred on the three areas of international recruitment, domestic training, and retention.

She said numbers of nurses being recruited from overseas annually had risen from around 5,000 to 6,000 before the pandemic, to an expected 20,000 in this financial year.

“I’m very, very glad that the NHS has had a diverse workforce from its very inception. We have welcomed colleagues from across all countries of the world, and we will continue to do that,” Ms May said.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Nursing Times, 22 March 2022


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