Britain could double the number of doctors and nurses it trains under NHS plans to tackle a deepening staffing crisis, according to reports.
The proposal to increase the number of places in UK medical schools from 7,500 to 15,000 is contained in a draft of NHS England’s long-awaited workforce plan, which is expected to be published next month.
Labour has already announced this policy as a key element of its plans to revive the NHS. However, it could face opposition from the Treasury because of how much it would cost, according to the Times, which reported on the plan.
The NHS in England alone is short of 133,000 staff – equating to about a tenth of its workforce – including 47,000 nurses and 9,000 doctors, according to the most recent official figures.
There are also shortages of midwives, paramedics and operating theatre staff. Staff groups say routine gaps in NHS care providers’ rotas are endangering patients’ safety, increasing workload and costing the service money.
Source: The Guardian, 22 February 2023
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