One in eleven posts in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), which is the UK’s largest employer, remain unfilled according to the Skills Shortage Bulletin issued by the Edge Foundation in July 2019.
This clearly indicates the severe skills gap for healthcare professionals in the UK. Strategies are being taken to improve this situation, including the modification of visa restrictions for healthcare professions, but let’s review what this gap actually means.
There has been a decrease in nursing graduates by 4%, leaving 41,000 nurse vacancies unfilled. Simultaneously, a number of issues have also arisen in medicine, adult social care and in mental health. The shortage is also partly blamed on Brexit, resulting in a mass exodus of European Healthcare professionals, who have been key to holding up the system. There are desperate calls for action, as the Health Foundation predicts that the shortage of nurses alone will reach70,000 within five years.
In general, skills shortages are part of a national trend in the UK, with employers stating that they cannot find workers with the skills they need for two-thirds of positions.