Annual statistics published by the UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting show the number of people on its register has fallen to a seven-year low. The number of people registered fell 3,220 to 634,229 last year. But the number leaving the register fell and the number joining increased for the first time in seven years. Just 13.3 per cent of practitioners are under 30, the smallest proportion since registration began in 1984. The proportion of over-50s has reached its highest ever level, at 21.3 per cent.

UKCC annual statistics . 0171-333 6514. Free.