HAMPSHIRE is benefitting from more than 500 new nurses and doctors, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Exclusive data published by the Department of Health and Social Care has shown that hospitals in the Echo patch have had a record number of NHS doctors and nurses working in the area.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust have collectively benefitted from an increase of 545 doctors and nurses.

The news has been described as "welcomed" and "excellent" by a Southampton MP and cabinet member, who claim the Prime Minister "is delivering".

As of February 2021, the number of nurses has increased by 364 on last year to 7,442, and the number of doctors rose by 181 to 2,937.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is hugely encouraging to see the number of doctors and nurses has peaked yet again, with 2,937 doctors and 7,442 nurses supporting Southern Daily Echo readers alone.

“Our expanding NHS workforce will help to provide safe care to patients and continue the success of the vaccination programme, as we work to tackle backlogs and build back better.

“I’d like to thank all health and social care staff across the country for their tremendous work and commitment this past year.”

MP for Southampton Itchen, Royston Smith, said the figures were "excellent news for Southampton and the wider area".

"Boris Johnson promised to recruit thousands of additional doctors and nurses when he became Prime Minister and he is delivering," he continued.

"This significant increase in doctors and nurses will help our health service continue to improve and offer more treatment for more people when and where they need it."

Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care at Southampton City Council, Councillor Ivan White, added: "The increase in numbers of doctors and nurse in Hampshire is to be welcomed as it will help to improve the health and lives of those of us who live in the county."

The Daily Echo contacted Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead for a comment but he did not respond.