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Publication, Part of

NHS Vacancy Statistics England April 2015 – June 2021 Experimental Statistics

Experimental statistics, Official statistics

Data revision notice

We have become aware of an error relating to Nursing vacancy rates for Q1 2021/22 in data published on 26th August 2021. Data presented for this quarter were identical to those listed for Q1 of 2020/21. National outcomes were unaffected, though small differences can be observed at Regional and Sector Level. Corrected data is now available.

20 September 2021 12:00 PM


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.

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

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 30 June 2021 within the Registered Nursing staff group (38,952 vacancies). This is broadly similar to the same period the previous year when the vacancy rate was also 10.3% (37,760 vacancies). Please note that these data do not indicate where vacancies are filled by temporary workforce.

Data from NHS Jobs shows there were 8,868 advertised FTE vacancies in the Nursing and Midwifery Registered Staff Group as at June 2021. This marks a slight decrease from the corresponding period in 2020 where 9,042 FTE vacancies were advertised.

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 over the summer months, 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: 20 September 2021 12:42 pm