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Fewer NHS-employed school nurses

The NHS employs a decreasing number of school nurses and health visitors, new figures from the NHS Information Centre show.

A drop of 1.8% in health visitors and 2.3% in school nurses has been recorded for the period September 2009 to April 2010. There were also 0.4% fewer managers, including those at a senior level.

Despite the loss of what equates to just under 200 full-time staff, the number of midwives rose 1.2%, while there was also a slight rise in the number of qualified nurses.

However, there were slight drops among the number of hospital doctors and the number of radiographers.

The figures do not include GPs.

A spokesman for the British Medical Association (BMA) said the figures are always subject to small fluctuations.

"It's impossible to identify a long-term drop in numbers of doctors at this stage.

"However, a downward trend in future would be a cause for concern.

"Despite the pledge to protect the frontline services, many employers in the NHS are already freezing recruitment in response to financial pressures."

Clare Chapman, NHS Director General for Workforce, said: "This data shows that the number of clinicians in the NHS have been broadly stable and also the beginning of a downward trend in the number of managers in the NHS.

"This reduction in management costs will allow us to reinvest in clinical care to meet rising demand and improving outcomes."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

NHS Information Centre

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"In response to Judith Wynn, do you 'actually' get paid school holidays or is your pay pro rata, if so this means a huge reduction in your annual salary. I am an ex school nurse and there are days I would like to go back to school nursing.  However I look at the difference in my current salary and the school nurses salary and this would be a huge sacrifice on
my part. So will stay where I am!" - S Bell, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

"I am a school nurse in Hastings East Sussex and I get paid school holidays!" - Judith Wynn, East Sussex

"I have always thought it totally unfair that school nurses are not given paid school holidays just like the teachers. I feel this prevents a lot of professionals taking up a school nurse post" - S Driver, Scotland