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The NHS is 30,000 nurses short—where’s the government panic?

New vacancy figures lay bare the scale of the problem faced by the health service

By Anita Charlesworth  

Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/PA Images

Poor workforce planning has long been the Achilles heel of the NHS in England. The UK spends close to the European average on health, at almost 10 per cent of GDP, but we have fewer doctors and nurses per head of population than comparable countries.

Over recent years the number of doctors working in the NHS has increased rapidly. There were 20 per cent more full time equivalent consultants in the NHS in 2016 than in 2010. But the number of nurses has not…

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