NHS Vacancies a 'National Emergency'

By Josh Jezard

NHS Vacancies a 'National Emergency'

• Analysts fear the dire situation is only going to worsen by the end of the year

• Chris Hopson, chief exec of NHS Providers, said trusts 'are doing all they can'

• NHS Improvement today released its quarterly situation report of the NHS

The shortage of NHS staff in England has started worsening again, official figures show.

One in 11 posts is vacant with the situation particularly bad among the nursing workforce.

Experts described the situation as at risk of becoming a "national emergency" given the rising demands on the NHS.

This comes after sustained efforts by ministers and NHS bosses to tackle the shortages, including a new pay deal and recruitment and retention campaigns.

Tom Sandford, of the Royal College of Nursing, said the report painted a "bleak picture", pointing out that the number of nurse vacancies had risen by 17% in the past three months alone.

Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, said services were "most worried" about the vacancies given the situation had started deteriorating.

He said the NHS was facing a "triple challenge" of increasing demand, growing workforce shortages and pressure on finances.

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