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In the news: The NHS can’t afford to lose EU Nurses


With 24,000 jobs currently unfilled in England alone, and Article 50 finally being triggered. Can the NHS really afford to lose nurses from the European Union?

Since Brexit was announced on 23rd June 2016 it has slowly been causing ripples within the NHS. The Times recently reported that between September and December 2015 an average of 797 nurses per month registered to work in the UK, yet in the same period in 2016 the number fell dramatically to 194 nurses per month. With uncertainty for European residents it is no wonder nurses from the EU are much less keen to want to both work and stay in the UK.

The shortfall of nurses can be found in hospitals across the country with pressures being placed on all aspects of the NHS, this has been a long running issue and can be blamed on both Brexit and the failure to long term plan. Further to this, matters don’t approve when an introduction of loans instead of bursaries for nurse training was announced resulting in a 23% drop in applications. To plug the gap approximately 7% nurses were recruited from the EU but that gap could disappear as EU nationals are stuck in limbo as Theresa May has refused to guarantee EU nationals the right to stay.

Chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said, “The government is turning off the supply of qualified nurses from around the world at the very moment the health service is a staffing crisis like never before.” “EU nationals working in the NHS need a clear signal from Theresa May that they are wanted and welcome to stay. Her failure to guarantee their right to remain is leaving soaring numbers heading for the door. Few are able to live with such uncertainty.”

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