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This debate pack provides background information, parliamentary material, press articles, and further reading materials which Members may find useful when preparing for this debate.

The recruitment and retention of NHS staff is largely the responsibility of the individual NHS trusts which employ them. While the overall number of doctors and nurses in the NHS has increased since 2010, NHS trusts throughout England face staff shortages in a number of areas. 

In addition to these general recruitment and retention challenges, trusts in Oxfordshire faces some more specific issues. One of these is the cost of housing. A 2017 study by Lloyds Bank listed Oxford as the most expensive city in the UK, with the average house price 10.7 times average earnings.  Another issue relates to the higher proportion of NHS workers from EU countries working in Oxfordshire. According to a 2016 BBC Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the proportion of EU migrants employed at OUH NHS Foundation Trust has risen from 2% to around 11% over the past four years, compared to a national average of 4.6%. In addition, there have recently been press reports outlining concerns that staff shortages have had, or may have, an effect on certain types of care and treatment, particularly relating to cancer, provided by Oxfordshire trusts.

This debate pack provides some background on all these issues, as well as the latest statistics on NHS staffing in England, and Oxfordshire in particular.

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