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NHS stats show record numbers of doctors and nurses

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There are record numbers of doctors and nurses working in the NHS helping to deliver extra appointments, speed up diagnoses and tackle the Covid backlog, according to new data from NHS England.

There are over 1.27 million full-time equivalent staff working in NHS trusts and commissioning bodies in England – over 51,500 more people compared to a year ago in an increase of 4.2 per cent.

As of March 2023, 440 more full-time equivalent doctors were working in general practice compared to a year ago, delivering more face-to-face appointments.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, said:

“Today’s figures demonstrate the clear progress being made to train and recruit record numbers of staff across the NHS and in primary care.

“Cutting waiting lists is a key priority for this government and we are committed to ensuring we have the workforce in place to achieve that.”

The latest data also shows there are over 5,300 more doctors and over 12,300 more nurses working in the NHS compared to February last year.

Since 2010, there are now over 37,800 more doctors and over 53,700 more nurses since 2010.

Almost two million more GP appointments were delivered in March 2023 compared to a year ago, equating to 83,500 more appointments each working day.

Meanwhile, The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has called off planned strike action after it was deemed unlawful by a High Court judge.

The nursing union had called for a 48-hour strike over pay and conditions from 8pm on April 30, continuing all day on May 1, and ending at 8pm on May 2.

However, the health secretary claimed the final day of the strike was unlawful as it was due to fall outside the union’s six-month mandate for industrial action.

Judge Thomas Linden agreed with the Government.

Pat Cullen, the general secretary of the RCN, said:

“They [the government] have won their legal battle today. But what this has led to is they have lost nursing, and they’ve lost the public.

“They’ve taken the most trusted profession through the courts, by the least trusted people.

“And what a day for nursing. What a day for patients.

“And what an indictment on this government to do this to the very people that have held this NHS together, not just through the pandemic, but an NHS that has been run into the ground and in crisis, caused by this government.”

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