The first national survey of staff vacancies in the NHS has revealed that
2.6% of trusts are having difficulty filling nursing and midwifery posts.
The survey was carried out in March, days before the first advertisements
appeared for the nursing recruitment campaign and three months before the
launch of the strategy for improving the status, training, pay and job
opportunities of nurses, midwives and health visitors. The survey will
serve as a benchmark for both initiatives.
The recruitment campaign has so far encouraged 4000 nurses to return to the
profession. The target is to secure the return of 15,000 nurses. The
campaign also appears to have stimulated interest in the profession because
up to the end of June 1999 the number of applications to colleges and
universities for nursing and midwifery courses has doubled to 80,000. The
number of student nurses starting degree course has also increased by 20%.
The nursing and midwifery strategy launched in July 1999 aims to limit the
number leaving the profession and boost recruitment. It will give wider
experience and responsibility and better education and training. It also
creates a number of ‘super nurse’ posts with a salary of 40,000 pounds.