According to provisional statistics published by NHS Digital on Thursday, as of March 2021 there are 124,078 doctors, and 304,542 nurses working in the NHS.
The data shows that - despite the impact of Covid-19 on the NHS, and challenges regarding staff shortages - there are still a record number of NHS doctors and nurses working in England. This makes it the third month running.
The report details monthly figures for staff working in NHS Hospitals and Community Health Services, NHS trusts, and CCGs in England (apart from the primary care sector).
There are more than 5,600 extra doctors and over 10,800 more nurses working in the NHS when compared to this time last year. There were also 1,197,747 hospital and community health staff working in the NHS, making this a record number too.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is hugely encouraging to see the number of doctors and nurses has peaked yet again, with over 124,000 doctors and 304,000 nurses working in our NHS.
“Our expanding NHS workforce will help to provide safe care to patients and continue the success of the vaccination programme, as we work to tackle backlogs and build back better.”
The government has also pledged to deliver 50,000 more NHS nurses by the end of the current Parliament. As outlined in the NHS People Plan, there is a target set out to drive recruitment and retention, along with a support package, with staff wellbeing at the forefront. There have already been initiatives, such as the £30m investment in mental health and occupational health support last year, and £37m funding mental health hubs, a helpline and 24/7 text support service, this year.
NHS Digital also published the quarterly NHS workforce vacancy data for March:
The data found:
• Vacancies fell by over 12,200 compared to last year.
• There were more than 1,400 fewer nursing and midwifery vacancies, than last year.
• There are over 1,700 less doctor vacancies than last year.
• The numbers of doctors, nurses and vacancies are those in full-time equivalent (FTE) roles.