England: radical action needed to plug staff gaps, says report

09 May 2019

Nurse shortages will double and GP gaps will nearly treble in the next five years without radical action. That’s the prediction in a report from the Nuffield Trust, Health Foundation and The King’s Fund.


Closing the gap calls for international recruitment, more training, grants for student nurses, and help to make the NHS a better employer.

More than 30,000 extra nurses and almost 3000 GPs are needed now, rising to nearly 70,000 nurses and more than 7000 GPs within five years if current trends continue. 

The report recommends a £5200 annual grant for student nurses and an exemption from university fees for students who have already completed a degree and then retrain as a nurse.

It also predicts the NHS will need to recruit 5000 foreign nurses every year – three times the current figure.

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