Thank you for contacting me as part of the Nursing Counts campaign.
We believe nurse and other NHS staff give the passion, commitment, and specialist knowledge that make our NHS so special. Since 2010, there are over 12,000 more nurses and midwives working in the NHS and we will continue to ensure the NHS has the nurses it needs. We can only deliver on this commitment because we have increased NHS funding since 2010. We will now go further, and increase NHS spending by £8 billion more a year in real terms by the end of the next five-year Parliament. The NHS has a target to recruit 20,000 nurses this year; there are already many more applicants than secured a place last year and we have removed the cap on nurses training places meaning more students are able to realise their ambition.
You will be pleased to know that around 52,000 nurses are currently in training with 10,000 more places available by 2020.
In response to the public inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire tragedy, which exposed problems of care in the NHS, we have ensured that every hospital ward must publicly report on staffing levels. Hospitals now have to publish information about the number of nurses in each ward and collect and publish information from their patients on whether they would recommend the care they received to a friend or member of their family.
Finally, we will make it a priority in our Brexit negotiations with the European Union that the 140,000 NHS staff from EU countries can carry on making their vital contribution to our health and care system.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me.