Nurse shortages are putting both the NHS and patients in danger, as thousands more are needed to fill the gaps.

The National Audit Office says that 7.2% of nursing posts in England are vacant, equating to a shortage of 28,000 staff.

It also says that England is lacking 2,300 consultants and 2,500 junior doctors.

The Health Foundation recently published a report saying the shortage of nurses is putting the NHS and patient care at risk.

It said the NHS has a short-sighted approach to nurse training which does not satisfy the amount of staff the health service needs.

The report added that importing foreign nurses was a short-term fix and that, unless changes were made, the NHS would struggle to survive.

Anita Charlesworth, director at the Health Foundation, said: “The current approach to workforce policy needs to be overhauled so that staffing and funding are treated as two sides of the same coin.”

“The recent decision for the UK to leave the EU will create additional challenges both in terms of finances and the ability to attract and retain valuable European staff.”

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