CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has appealed to more young people in his constituency to explore a career in health or social care as new figures show increases in the number of doctors and nurses working in the NHS. Over the past 12 months the number of doctors working in NHS England has increased by over 6,000, while the number of nurses has increased by over 12,000. The South West has seen its number of nurses increase by 5.7% - only the South East is higher at 5.8%. Our region has also seen a higher than average increase in the number of doctors. The figures do not include former healthcare professionals who have volunteered to return to the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Stride said:

“Across England there are now over 23,100 more doctors and over 22,000 more nurses, midwives and health visitors working in the NHS than in May 2010 but as our population grows older demand continues to grow and we must increase recruitment further to keep up. I would urge young people interested in caring for others to explore the great opportunities that exist in health or social care.”

To find out more about NHS recruitment drives visit Students training towards certain careers will benefit from the new £5,000 annual maintenance grant to help with their living costs. Extra payments worth up to £3,000 a year will also be available for specialisms that are struggling to recruit, or those with childcare responsibilities.

As a treasury minister Mr Stride helped to deliver the largest cash increase in NHS funding in its history with an additional £33.9 billion being invested in frontline NHS services every year by 2023-24.