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Publication, Part of

NHS Vacancy Statistics England April 2015 – December 2021 Experimental Statistics

Experimental statistics, Official statistics

Current Chapter

NHS Vacancy Statistics England April 2015 – December 2021 Experimental Statistics


This is the latest compendium publication in the NHS Vacancy Statistics series containing vacancy related data for the NHS which provide four different views on recruitment information for the NHS.

Data from NHS Jobs, the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) and Trac Recruitment Management Software (Trac) provide a range of proxy data sources for NHS vacancies. The series also includes management information related to vacancies within the NHS which have been collected by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I).

Users should note these data do not indicate how much of the reported substantive gap is filled by temporary staff.

NHS Jobs is transitioning users to the new NHS Jobs service and an increasing number of Trusts are now using that to advertise their vacancies. Until a data flow has been established from the new service, we are unable to quantify the number of vacancies being advertised on it. Users of the data should be aware that affected Trusts may appear to show lower levels of vacancies than reported in the past. National and local totals are also affected.

Due to the complex nature of how NHS vacancy data is defined and collected, all data sources should be treated with a degree of caution.

NHS Digital look forward to developing the compendium publication further for future iterations of the series and remain committed to providing the best, most accurate and useful information possible to support the NHS and to serve the public good.

To help with the development of this publication, feedback is continually welcomed and can be sent to: [email protected] with the subject heading ‘NHS Vacancy Statistics publication feedback’.

Data from NHS England and NHS Improvement

show a vacancy rate of 10.3% as at 31 December 2021 within the Registered Nursing staff group (39,652 vacancies). This is a slight increase from the same period the previous year when the vacancy rate was 9.7% (36,277 vacancies).

Please note that these data do not indicate where vacancies are filled by temporary workforce.

During the COVID-19 pandemic

there was considerable disruption to recruitment activity within the NHS. This was apparent from the lower reported advertised vacancies between March and June 2020 as the NHS was fully focused on dealing with the first wave of the pandemic.

Whilst pressures of the pandemic eased somewhat during the summer of 2020, it is still apparent from the data that recruitment activity for the NHS remains disrupted. However, we believe that the headline figures included in the bulletin remain of immediate use, as they represent the situation as it was at the time.

Last edited: 30 March 2022 2:51 pm