A Critical Moment: NHS Staffing Trends, Rentention and Attrition

Executive summary: Trends in the NHS workforce:

This is the third annual NHS workforce trends report published by the Health Foundation. Analysis of the NHS staff profile and trends in England in 2018 largely confirms the trends identified in our 2016 and 2017 reports, and shows an ongoing deterioration for some key staff groups. The key findings are:

•The NHS employs over a million staff. The past year has seen modest growth in the number of full-time equivalent (F TE) staff, with 18,567 more staff in July 2018 compared with a year before – an increase of 1.8%. But this is against a backdrop of more than 100,000 vacancies reported by trusts, a figure projected to only rise over the coming years.

•About half of the growth in NHS staff (9,376 F TE) is among professionally qualified clinical staff. But growth is patchy. The professionally qualified clinical staff with the highest rates of growth were ambulance staff, hospital and community health service doctors, and scientific, therapeutic and technical staff, all of which grew by around 3% or more. By contrast, the number of midwives increased by less than 1%, while the number of nurses and health visitors increased by less than 0.5%.

•While there has been continued growth in the number of hospital-based doctors, the number of GPs has fallen. The staffing model for primary care is changing. The F TE number of GPs (excluding locums and trainees) has fallen by 1.6% in the year to September 2018. The mix of staff working in general practice is changing – over the past year, the number of nurses and other direct patient care staff working in general practice has been expanding. There has been a small but notable increase in the number of general-practice-based pharmacists and advanced practice nurses.

Full Report: A Critical Moment, Feburary 2019