THE number of NHS nurses working in the South East of England is up by 2,491 compared to last year, figures published today show, while the number of doctors has risen by 836.

Across England the number of nurses increased by 14,813, and the number of doctors rose by 6,257 to a record 121,726.

Quarterly vacancy statistics also published today show the number of overall NHS vacancies has decreased since last year by over 18,500 (17.5%), with the number of nursing and midwifery vacancies falling by over 15%.

Responding to today’s NHS workforce statistics, Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said:  “Not only do we have 836 more doctors and 2,491 more NHS nurses working in the South East since last year, but our pipeline of future talent in nursing, medicine and general practice is now at record levels.

Isle of Wight County Press: NHS stats across England and the South EastNHS stats across England and the South East

“We are well on our way to deliver on our manifesto commitment of 50,000 more nurses in the NHS. I’m deeply grateful for the continued hard work of all our NHS staff throughout this pandemic.”

In addition, the latest UCAS figures show record numbers of people accepting a place to study nursing in England, with a 23% increase on the same time last year, or 5,000 more student nurses.

The NHS recently announced £15 million to strengthen mental health support for nurses, paramedics, therapists, pharmacists, and support staff.

Staff will get rapid access to expanded mental health services that are being rolled out across the country as part of efforts to deal with the second wave of coronavirus.