[Image: Daily Mirror.]

[Image: Daily Mirror.]

Here’s an interesting news story, published less than a day ago (at time of writing) by the BBC:

The Department of Health has been criticised over a shortage of nurses and told to “get its act together”, by government advisers.

The Migration Advisory Committee also accused the health sector of seeing immigration as a “get-out-of-jail-free-card” and an answer to the shortage.

The lack of nurses is down to factors “which could and should have been anticipated”, it said.

(Source: Government should ‘get its act together’ over nursing shortage – BBC News )

Now look at this, from the Nursing Times in June 2013 – yes, that’s right – 2013:

The NHS will experience a chronic shortage of nurses within the next three years as demand for services continues to pile on pressure.

This is the dire warning from the government-backed Centre for Workforce Intelligence, which has predicted the NHS is likely to have 47,500 fewer nurses than it needs by 2016.

The analysis will make bleak reading for members of the profession who have already been reporting growing staff shortages in their care settings, as trusts seek to trim paybills in an effort to balance their books.

It also comes shortly after fresh concerns that the health service is failing to provide more care into the community and is experiencing unsustainable demand on accident and emergency departments as a result.

The CfWI looked at a range of projections and likely scenarios over the next three years, based on factors such as the number of nurses due to retire, the number of students being educated and expected demand for services.

“Employers have a real challenge to plan and sustain the supply and demand of the future nursing workforce at a time of financial constraint,” the CfWI report warned.

It concluded that the most likely scenario would see a 47,545 shortage of registered nurses by 2016, created by a 5% drop in the supply of nurses and a 3% increase in demand.

Although this was considered the most likely outcome, the centre noted a range of possible scenarios based on its predictions. These ranged from a nursing shortage of 0.6% by 2016 to one of 11%.

This 11% worst case scenario would see a shortage of around 190,000 nurses, as we revealed in February when some of the initial findings from the research were shared with Nursing Times.

(Source: NHS to face chronic nurse shortage by 2016 | Nursing Times )

According to The Independent, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)report estimated that 9.4 per cent of nursing places in England are currently vacant – so the Nursing Times prediction of 11 per cent was more or less accurate.

Using NT figures, we can see that the shortage totals around 163,000 nursing places.

No wonder the NHS is falling apart under Jeremy Hunt.

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