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NHS London

HCA numbers in London hospitals rise by 5%

London’s acute trusts saw a 5.7% rise in the number of healthcare assistants they employed from 2010-11 to 2011-12.

The numbers rose from 6,827 in September 2010 to 7,215 in September 2011, health minister Daniel Poulter said in answer to a parliamentary question.

However, the data did not include numbers for registered nurses. Therefore, it was not possible to identify whether the HCA increase represented an overall increase in nursing staff or an increase in the ratio of support workers to registered nurses.

The question was asked by Labour MP for Harrow West Gareth Thomas.

Meanwhile, the rate of midwife vacancies in London has fallen beneath 10% for the first time in 10 years, according to NHS London board minutes.

The rate is the lowest in 10 years, NHS London’s chief nurse told the strategic health authority’s board.

The board minutes stated: “[Non executive director] Ian Harrison observed that vacancies for midwives had fallen, but were still significant.

“Trish Morris-Thompson said that vacancies were now below 10% for the first timer in 10 years. She was confident that recruitment targets would be met.”

There are 7,200 midwives working in London.

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