In its 2019 manifesto the government pledged to increase the full-time equivalent number of nurses working in the NHS by 50,000 by March 2024. But although data suggests that the NHS will hit that target, Ruth May, England's Chief Nursing Officer, has stated publicly that there are still substantial shortages in spite of this increase.
This analysis by the King's Fund highlights that the supply of nurses to the NHS is not keeping up with demand, with vacancy levels remaining static in spite of an increase to the raw number of nurses. It also highlights wide regional variation in nurse shortages.
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