Lack of nurses leads NHS to rely on less qualified staff

Nurses are in such short supply in the UK that the NHS is relying on less qualified staff to plug the gaps, according to a new report. According to the Health Foundation charity, healthcare assistants and nursing assistants have been used to help with tasks that qualified nurses would normally carry out if there were enough of them. Numbers have been shored up for years by overseas recruitment – but Brexit has caused a drop in the number of those coming from the EU, the report says, so the health service is now taking more nurses from countries further afield, including India and the Philippines. The number of nursing vacancies across the NHS is 44,000 – 12% of the nursing workforce.