NHS workforce rises by 60,000 on last year

The latest workforce census has shown there are now 57,808 more health professionals working in the NHS than last year.

The latest figures represent an increase of almost 5% in the last year taking the NHS total to 1.2 million.

There are now 27,070 consultants, representing an increase of 1,288 (5%) over 12 months. Numbers of nurses has jumped 17,100 to 367,520, and the government has claimed that it has already achieved the NHS Plan target to recruit an extra 20,000 nurses two years early. This latest increase means that an extra 50,000 nurses have been recruited to the NHS since 1997.

There was also an increase of 497 GPs last year taking the total to 31,182 – the biggest year-on-year rise since 1983 and almost twice the number of GPs recruited two years ago.

Commenting on the statistics Health Minister John Hutton said: "These figures demonstrate that we are continuing to recruit more nurses and doctors year on year and more nursing and medical training places are coming on stream. However, there is still a long way to go and we need to continue to work hard to recruit more staff to the NHS."

Mr Hutton said that there were plans to recruit 15,000 more doctors, 35,000 more nurses and 30,000 more scientists and therapists to the NHS by 2008.


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