Vacancies for consultants and nurses in England have changed little over the last 12 months.The three-month vacancy rate for consultants was 3 per cent in March - a rise of 0.2 per cent on the previous year.And vacancies for qualified nurses, midwives and health visitors fell by 0.5 per cent, to 3.4 per cent.The results follow the government's campaign to encourage staff to return to the NHS with golden hellos and additional childcare facilities.Last week it claimed 3,000 nurses had 'returned or have been training to return'to the NHS since April.

www. doh. gov. uk/public/vacancysurvey. htm