A House of Commons committee revealed that the NHS in England could be short of more than 50,000 nurses and midwives. Although there has been progress towards filling the target, the persistent understaffing poses a serious risk to staff and patient safety, it added.
To tackle the backlog, MPs were told the NHS will need almost 19,000 more nurses. The inquiry also found that many health care assistants could make excellent nurses but cannot afford training. Additionally, rules that prevent retired nurses working additional hours when they are willing to do so is impeding efforts to tackle shortages.
The committee recommended the introduction of a new bursary scheme and other measures.
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