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Campaign aims to coax former nurses back to practice in London

Registrants’ return could cut capital’s high nurse and midwife vacancy rates
London skyline. London has the highest nurse vacancy rate of any of England's regions. Picture: iStock

Registrants return could cut capitals high nurse and midwife vacancy rates

A recruitment campaign aims to persuade former nurses and midwives they are key to addressing the staff shortage in London.

Vacancy rates for nurses and midwives in the capital are the highest in England and Health Education England (HEE) wants to encourage people who left practice to restart their careers there.

Mark Radford: There are many reasons nurses leave the profession

HEE chief nurse Mark Radford said: There are many reasons why nurses may leave the profession, including family and caring responsibilities.

We are looking to support those who are keen to

Registrants’ return could cut capital’s high nurse and midwife vacancy rates

 iStock
London has the highest nurse vacancy rate in England  Picture: iStock

A recruitment campaign aims to persuade former nurses and midwives they are key to addressing the staff shortage in London.

Vacancy rates for nurses and midwives in the capital are the highest in England and Health Education England (HEE) wants to encourage people who left practice to restart their careers there.

 ‘There are many reasons nurses leave the profession’
Mark Radford: ‘There are many reasons
nurses leave the profession’

HEE chief nurse Mark Radford said: ‘There are many reasons why nurses may leave the profession, including family and caring responsibilities.

‘We are looking to support those who are keen to come back, but perhaps don’t know that they can, or how to get started.’

Practical support for those who want to return to practice

Health Education England (HEE) is offering returners access to experienced NHS staff to help them find return to practice courses, placement providers, or employers.

HEE hopes some former nurses could return to work as early as next month, while those who need to complete a return to practice course could start in 2021.

Professor Radford said HEE has not set a recruitment target for this campaign, adding: ‘Our main goal is to make sure we provide high quality support for every returner. The response rate so far is the highest for any recent returner campaign.’

Vacancy rate is high in the capital because of the cost of living

Latest NHS Digital data show there were 9,039 full-time-equivalent nursing vacancies in London in March 2020, with most of these in acute care and mental health. This means London’s nurse vacancy rate of just over 13%.

An RCN London survey published in January indicated more than half of London nurses wanted to leave because of the cost of living.

Read more on the return to practice campaign.


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