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NHS suffering worst ever staff and cash crisis, figures show

The NHS’s staffing and financial problems are the worst they have ever been, official health service figures show.

The number of vacancies across the NHS in England has hit a record high while NHS bosses have disclosed for the first time the service’s underlying deficit built up over recent years – £4.3bn.

At the end of June the health service had 107,743 unfilled posts, up 9,268 from the 98,475 total seen just three months earlier, NHS Improvement said in its latest quarterly report on the service’s performance.

The regulator warned that the NHS’s struggles to recruit and retain staff were so difficult that vacancies would become even more common during the rest of 2018-19.

The NHS was short of 41,722 nurses – 11.8% of the entire nursing workforce. That is the highest number yet and a big rise on the 35,794 vacancies seen at the end of March.

Similarly, there were 11,576 vacancies for doctors across all types of NHS services inside and outside of hospitals. That was again a record and a significant increase on the 9,982 posts that were vacant three months before. Across England, 9.3% of posts were vacant.

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