Nurse and midwife numbers jump by record amount

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Record numbers of nurses and midwives have registered to work in the UK with 18,000 more than a year ago.

By the end of March, there were 716,600 nurses, midwives and nurse associates on the register, according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Despite this the NMC is worried coronavirus will hit the ability to recruit and retain overseas staff.

The rise is driven by those joining and staying from the UK and from countries outside of Europe.

There has been a significant increase in those from the Philippines and India in particular.

But those coming from Europe have dropped by 5% to just over 31,000.

‘Stormy waters ahead’

The NMC report includes the results of a survey of more than 6,000 people asking why they had left the profession.

The main reason given was too much pressure leading to stress and poor mental health. This was before the coronavirus outbreak.

The NMC also revealed more than 14,000 had joined the temporary register set up to boost numbers during the pandemic. This includes staff who have come out of retirement to help out.

NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said: “It’s great to celebrate record numbers of people on the register.”

But she predicted there would be “stormy waters ahead”.

“As a result of the pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions, we may no longer be able to rely on the flow of professionals joining our register from overseas in the same way.”