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27.03.20

Matt Hancock: ‘We are more indebted than ever to NHS staff’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has lauded NHS staff during his response to the healthcare service’s recently released workforce statistics, which demonstrated an increase in the number of nurses and doctors.

Compared with figures from the same period last year, the number of nurses in the NHS has increased by 9,398 and the number of doctors has risen by 5,188.

At a time of unprecedented challenge and strain on the NHS and wider health service, in the face of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, significant improvements in staff numbers will be a welcomed statistic.

As well as this increase, as part of the ‘Your NHS Needs You’ recruitment drive to help the NHS tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, the healthcare service has seen 15,266 former professionals come forward in England so far. They will begin being deployed from this weekend.

This includes 5,117 doctors, 5,605 nurses and midwives and 3,686 allied health professionals and pharmacists.

From next week, those figures will be further bolstered as 5,750 final year medics and 17,000 final year nursing students in England will also be asked to consider moving into front line placements, with appropriate support.

As such, it means as many as 38,000 more healthcare professionals could join the NHS in the coming weeks, alongside the 560,000-strong volunteer army who have been rallied by the government, signing up to assist helping vulnerable stay safe and well at home.

Since 2010, the NHS has seen an increase in 20,200 doctors and almost 23,000 nurses working on the wards across the country.

Responding to the release of the statistics, Mr Hancock said: “We are more indebted than ever to the staff of the NHS.

“We go into this crisis with the NHS bigger than ever before, with more than 9,000 nurses compared to last year alone. I’m so proud that since our rallying call, 38,000 more people will join or return to the NHS as health and care workers on the frontline fighting COVID-19.

“Our NHS is facing an unprecedented challenge and I pay tribute to each and every one of them helping battle this virus.

“The entire country is grateful, but we must help them too. That’s why we are telling everyone to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Main Image Credit: Wiktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/PA Images

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