Winter pressures, an aging population, strikes, staff shortages and COVID backlogs have left the NHS in crisis.
Reports of ambulances queuing to get into A&E, sick patients in hospital corridors and people unable to get a GP appointment have reignited the debate about whether the health service can cope in its current form.
Ahead of tonight’s Sky News debate – Can the NHS Survive? – we take a brief look at the health service in numbers.
1,391,820 people work full-time across NHS England, according to the latest data from September 2022.
That is an increase of 2.7% or 36,040 people compared with the previous year.
More than half (52.1%) of those people are qualified clinical staff.
There are 139,683 doctors 359,495 nurses and healthcare visitors, 26,075 midwives, and 19,475 ambulance staff.
24,759 people work as managers.
133,446 jobs need filling across NHS England – the equivalent of 9.7% of the total full-time workforce.
Along with about 165,000 vacancies in social care, the latest Care Quality Commission report concluded in October that the system is “gridlocked” and “unable to operate effectively”.
The NHS is managed differently across the four nations.
There are 190 trusts in England.
Scotland has 14 health boards.
Wales has 7 health boards and 3 trusts.
Northern Ireland has 5 health and social care trusts.
The largest NHS trust in the country is Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. It runs 10 hospitals and employees 28,371 staff.
The smallest is Dudley Integrated Health and Care Trust, which runs 2 GP surgeries and employs 445 people.
There are an average of 102,065 hospital beds in England, as of 15 January.
68,632 people attended A&E each day on average in 2022.
Services in A&E can cost anything in between £45 and £1,140.93according to unit costs for 2021/22.
486,399 GP appointments took place each day on average in November 2022.
41.6% of these were same-day appointments.
46% were carried out by a GP and 22.1% by a nurse.
69.1% were face-to-face.
45,881 GPs were working across the health service that month.
A 10-minute GP appointment costs an average of £39.23according to a 2020 study.
£277bn was spent on healthcare in the UK in 2021, which is 11.9% of total GDP.
This is compared to 17.8% of GDP in the US, 12.8% in Germany, and 10.8% in Denmark.
In 1948, when the NHS was founded, its annual budget was £373m – 3.2% of GDP at the time.
£152.6bn has been allocated for NHS England and NHS Improvement in 2022/23.
11% (£14.9bn) of £133.7bn day-to-day spending in the year 2021/22 was spent on mental health.
£35,908 was the average annual full-time salary for an NHS worker for the year ending September 2022.
This was an increase of 4.3% (£1,480) on the previous year. But inflation was 10.1% in September 2022, which means it was a real-terms decrease.
NHS pay is banded from 1 to 9.
Band 1 staff, which includes drivers, nursery assistants and domestic support workers, receive an annual salary of £20,270.
The hourly rate is £10.37 an hour, which is just over the 2022 National Living Wage of £9.50 for over-23s.
Newly qualified nurses earn £27,055 a year.
Doctors in their first year of work earn £29,834 a year.
Band 9 staff, which includes consultants, chief financial managers and estate and facilities directors, earn £109,475 a year.
Kicking off a major ongoing project on the future of the National Health Service, an hour-long debate into the future of the NHS will take place this evening, live from University Hospital Coventry.
It begins at 7pm and will be hosted by Sky News presenter Anna Botting alongside a special panel.
If you are an NHS worker and would like to share your experiences with us anonymously, please email [email protected]