Hundreds of vacancies for nurses and midwives posted by Hull and East Yorkshire hospitals last year

At least 488 nursing and midwifery jobs were advertised. Photo: PA Images.
At least 488 nursing and midwifery jobs were advertised. Photo: PA Images.

Hundreds of vacancies for nurses and midwives were posted by Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals last year, figures show.

The Royal College of Nursing says a rise in advertised posts across England is being fuelled by EU workers returning home and the Government’s failure to train enough nurses domestically.

NHS Digital data shows that the equivalent of at least 488 full-time nursing and midwifery jobs were advertised by the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust between July 2018 and June this year.

These made up 35% of the roles posted by the trust during the period. The latest workforce data for the trust shows it employed 2,091 full-time nurses, health visitors and midwives in May – making up 29% of its staff.

RCN England director Patricia Marquis said the problem is partly being driven by “great EU nurses” going home or choosing to go elsewhere in the first place. But she stressed that the biggest factor was the Government failing to train sufficient numbers of staff.

She added: “These alarming figures should have been a wake-up call but instead we are still lacking a comprehensive workforce strategy that addresses the reasons nursing staff are leaving, whether that’s inflexible working or intolerable working conditions.”

NHS Digital said that, as one job advert can be used to fill multiple vacancies, the figures show the minimum number of advertised roles.

An NHS spokesman said the number of nurses, midwives and health visitors employed in the NHS in England is growing.

He added: “We are taking a number of steps to accelerate that progress, including launching the ‘We Are The NHS’ recruitment campaign, which has seen a 4.5% increase in nursing applications, funding thousands more clinical placements for those in training, and rolling out successful nurse retention programmes, including to primary care.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said it is providing higher pay, more flexibility and career development to help retain staff, adding 5,000 extra university places to study nursing, and training 25% more midwives.