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Press release: NHS vacancy rates worse than last year

The RCP has responded to the latest data on NHS full time equivalent vacancy rates.

Responding to the latest data, Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:

“While full time equivalent vacancies have reduced slightly, it is very concerning that at a time when over 7 million patients are waiting for treatment, vacancy rates are worse now than last year. 

“The commitment to a long-term workforce plan (LTWP) with independently verified numbers of staff needed over 5, 10 and 15 years must be underpinned by funding. It also must include an expansion of medical school places. Increasing staffing levels is vital if we are to have the right staff in sufficient numbers to meet the future needs of an ageing population living with complex health conditions. Government must commit the necessary funding to deliver the workforce plan.

“It is also just as essential the government does more to ensure we value and retain existing highly experienced and skilled staff. This includes improving pay, working conditions and finding a solution for pensions; messages we are hearing loud and clear that must be addressed if we truly do want to stem the year-on-year growing number of vacancies.”