NEW NHS recruitment figures reveal the extent of the nursing crisis in the South West region with more than 85% of nursing vacancies unfilled.

Statistics from NHS Digital revealed that between April 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017, of 3,691 vacancies advertised, only 535 were filled, less than 15%.

Jeannett Martin, Regional Director of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), South West Region, said: “These figures are further proof that the NHS is desperately short of nurses.

“The Government can no longer deny the staffing crisis and must act now to address the problem.

“The NHS is busier than ever and is losing experienced nurses quicker than it can find new ones.

“Long-serving staff are feeling demoralised and pushed to leave nursing in droves.

“Record pressure, inadequate funding to provide safe care, poor pay for staff and the prospect of huge debt from training is putting people off joining the profession.”

Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, added: “When the Government allows nursing on the cheap, patients can pay the highest price.

“It is time to draw a line under this false economy with urgent investment in services and those who provide them, including a pay rise above inflation and legislation, to make ministers accountable for workforce planning and safe staffing levels.”

The full figures from NHS Digital can be found at