LD nurse numbers fall by 40 per cent over a decade

NHS Employers have warned of an increasing shortfall in the number of specialist nurses.

Citing the latest NHS workforce figures, they note the 11 per cent fall in the number of mental health nurses and the 42 per cent fall in the ranks of learning disability specialist nurses over the past decade.

As of May 2019, there were 36,196 mental health nurses on the register, and only 3,201 learning disability nurses.

However, overall nurse numbers are up between September 2009 and May 2019, rising 3.7 per cent to 288,851. Most growth has been seen in children’s and in general adult nursing.

Commenting Sue Covill, director of development and employment at NHS Employers, said: “Government and national organisations can help to alleviate some of the burden by focusing on stimulating supply and retention, supportive migration policy, reforming the apprenticeship levy and reinstating lost CPD funds.”

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