Increase in doctors and nurses working in NHS in South West

The number of doctors working in NHS England has increased by over 6,000 over the last year, while the number of nurses has increased by over 12,000.

In the South West, the number of doctors working in the NHS has increased by 623 to 10,956 – a rise of 6%.

The number of nurses has increased by 1,455 to 27,111 – a rise of 5.7%. The South East is the only region to see a bigger percentage rise.

It means patients across the region will be able to see better results in frontline services.

Across England there are now over 23,100 more doctors and over 22,000 more nurses, midwives and health visitors working in the NHS than when the Conservatives came into office in May 2010.

These figures do not include any former healthcare professionals who have volunteered to return to the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

During the 2019 General Election, the Conservatives pledged that there would be 50,000 more nurses working in the NHS by the end of the Parliament. These latest figures represent significant progress towards delivering on that commitment.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the government has worked to support the NHS and those who work in our health system. It has provided more than £14billion for the NHS and public services, which has helped to increase critical care capacity, ensure staff have the equipment they need and ensure those on the frontline are supported as they deal with this crisis.

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:

“It’s fantastic to see record numbers of NHS staff, including 6,000 more doctors and 12,000 more nurses compared to last year.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our NHS staff, we are turning the tide on coronavirus, and I remain absolutely committed to growing the workforce and making the NHS the best possible place to work.

“We will continue to do everything we can to attract and retain our brilliant NHS staff as part of delivering 50,000 more nurses by end of the Parliament.”

Supporting the NHS through Covid-19:

  • Ensuring the NHS has the funding it needs to tackle coronavirus and save lives. We have provided more than £14 billion from the Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund for the NHS and public services, which has helped us to increase critical care capacity, ensure staff have the equipment they need and rapidly increase the NHS workforce to help tackle the virus (HMT, News Story, 13 April 2020, link).
  • Building six temporary hospitals in just weeks, with another on the way. We have built Nightingale Hospitals in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Harrogate, Bristol and Sunderland, with another on the way in Exeter (MoD, Guidance, 12 June 2020, link).
  • Writing off over £13 billion of debt for NHS providers, freeing them up to investing in maintaining vital services. The changes will provide much needed financial support during this unprecedented viral pandemic, as well as laying secure foundations for the longer-term commitments set out last year to support the NHS to become more financially sustainable (DHSC, Press Release, 2 April 2020, link).
  • Launching a mental health hotline for NHS staff – as we are doing everything we can to support our incredible NHS workers as they care for people through this global health emergency. NHS staff will be able to call or text a free number staffed by thousands of specially trained volunteers, to receive support and advice for the pressures they face every day during the global health emergency. Anyone who requires further help will be signposted to other services ranging from practical and financial assistance through to specialist bereavement and psychological support (NHS, News, 8 April 2020, link).

We are boosting frontline NHS services:

  • Delivering the biggest cash boost in history for the NHS and enshrining that increase in law, to safeguard it for future generations. We are investing an additional £33.9 billion in frontline NHS services every year by 2023-24, the largest and longest funding settlement in the history of the NHS, with an initial £6.2 billion increase this year (HMT, Spending Round 2019, 4 September 2019, link; Hansard, 7 January 2019, Vol.652 Col.62, link).
  • Building 40 new hospitals and upgrading 20 more, ensuring extra funding for the NHS goes straight to the front line. We are providing £1.8 billion for 20 hospital upgrades and 300 new MRI and CT scanners, as well as £2.7 billion to build 6 new hospitals straight away and seed funding for up to 38 more to be built by the end of the decade (DHSC, News Story, 30 October 2019, link; DHSC, Press Release, 29 September 2019, link; DHSC, Press Release, 5 August 2019, link).
  • Delivering on our promises with £5.4 billion more for the NHS and health service – writing the cheque for 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more GP surgery appointments per year. We have enshrined our record cash boost into law, but will now go further by investing £5.4 billon in this Parliament to support the recruitment, retraining and retaining of 50,000 more nurses including a new nursing maintenance grant for all nursing students (HMT, Budget 2020, 11 March 2020, link).