Co-Director, Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, St Andrews House
The nursing and midwifery professions are experiencing notable challenges to recruitment and retention. A report from June 2022 indicated that NHS Scotland had over 6,000 unfilled vacancies, which was a jump of 24% from the year before. That figure does not include the social care sector so we can assume the overall figure will be even higher.
SCADR has worked with the NMC and Office for National Statistics (ONS) to develop an anonymised dataset from the NMC register for secure researchers to address key questions. When a person is registered as a nurse or midwife, information such as the date of qualification and place of qualification is captured. Analysing these dynamics over time creates a longitudinal dataset, enabling us to show:
how long people stay in the profession.
movement from one part of the register to another, e.g., hospital or community settings.
movement from one location to another.
how long people remain in the profession and whether retention is affected by what their role is or where they are based.
ascertain the social composition of the professions.
gain information on health and occupation. Initial insights will look to establish how many registrants were practising in the week of the census and the reasons for not practising.
What happens thereafter will be influenced by developments in the nursing and midwifery professions, the administrative data available and how we are guided by our stakeholder group. Key to our work is that it must support nursing and midwifery professionals and enable them to practise effectively. If it does the latter, it has been successful.