Despite gains, Covid-19 will intensify the challenge of keeping nurses and midwives within the NHS

Mark Dayan responds to the NMC Register.

Press release

Published: 09/07/2020

Responding to The NMC Register, Policy Analyst and Head of Public Affairs at the Nuffield Trust, Mark Dayan said:

“The largest-ever jump in the number of nurses and midwives registered to practise is good news. Growing numbers joining from outside the EEA and more people from the UK are welcome steps towards meeting the pledge to deliver 50,000 more nurses.

“But these gains could be a false dawn. Not least because of the overwhelming burden on health and care staff as the country battles through the coronavirus pandemic. International staff might look more askance at the UK if it seems to have let a disproportionate number of BAME workers die from the disease.  

“The other great challenge is keeping people wanting to work in the service. Even before the pandemic, the pressure and the toll on the mental health of staff was propelling people to leave the service. Covid-19 has emphasised many of these issues, and staff will continue to weigh up the benefits vs the pay, reward and working environment they will face.”

Notes to editors

  • The Nuffield Trust is an independent health think tank. We aim to improve the quality of health care in the UK by providing evidence-based research and policy analysis and informing and generating debate.
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