UK News

Leaked data reveals NHS will miss target for 50,000 nurses by 2024

As many as 8.5% of nurses may leave in 2024, according to projected figures
The Independent reported that Boris Johnson’s key manifesto pledge to add 50,000 NHS nurses to the workforce by 2024. The publication shared that the government could miss its target by over 10,000, according to leaked NHS modelling.
Johnson’s manifesto pledge had already drawn accusations of deceit as early as 2019, as the plan was revealed to include 18,500 existing nurses, who the government hoped to persuade to remain in the workforce. The pledge also included 50 million more GP surgery appointments a year.
However, the leaked data from NHS England projects that tens of thousands of nurses are expected to leave the NHS in the next two years. The leak arrives in spite of claims from Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, that in April the government was on track to meet the election promise. The Independent, however, has described the “snowball effect” of staff quitting.
“Increased burnout and fatigue” due to high pressure and demands on NHS staff may lead to as many as 8.5% of nurses leaving in 2024, according to some forecast figures.
Further, leading think tanks told the publication that even if the government met its target of 50,000 nurses, the numbers may still not be enough to cope with future public demands of the NHS.
Pat Cullen, General Secretary and CEO of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: “Last year alone, more than 25,000 registered nurses left the profession in the UK – a sharp rise from 2020-21. Retaining experienced staff is a major challenge for ministers.
“Official figures from the NHS only weeks ago showed that the number of unfilled nursing jobs is rising, not falling. Ministerial boasts sound increasingly hollow.
“The government has not been transparent about how it calculates its figures, and ministers are burying their heads in the sand when it comes to the scale of the nursing workforce crisis – patient safety is at risk.”