Brexit: Applications for EU nurses to work in the UK are down adding a shortage of 30,000 nurses

Here’s the shocking reason why

Nurses from the EU has fallen by 96 per cent since the Brexit vote last year as figures collated from the Nursing and Midwifery Council shows numbers fell from 1,304, July 2016 to just a staggering 46 April this year.

There are approximately 20,000 EU national nurses working in the NHS and around 37,000 other NHS staff who are also EU nationals, this decline will undoubtedly place more pressure on the NHS to recruit.

The director of research and economics, Anita Charlesworth from the Health Foundation said: “The recruitment and retention of nurses is one of the biggest challenges facing health and social care, with a shortage of 30,000 nurses in England alone.

“The drop in EU nurses registering to work in the UK could not be more stark - just 46 registered to work in the UK in April.

“Without EU nurses, it will be even harder for the NHS and other employers to find the staff they need to provide safe patient care. The findings should be a wake-up call to politicians and health service leaders.

“But the overall shortage of 30,000 nurses is not a shortage caused by the Brexit vote. The chronic shortage of nurses is the result of years of short-term planning and cuts to training places.

“A sustainable, long-term approach to workforce planning is desperately needed.”

Jonathan Ashworth, the Labour shadow health spokesperson said: “Our health service has always relied on the contribution of overseas workers yet these staff are being forced out by this Government’s neglect and disregard.”

“The Tories are overseeing an unforgivable drain of talent out of our country because of their chaotic attitude to the Brexit negotiations. The truth is that Theresa May has tried to use NHS staff as bargaining chips in her negotiations with Brussels.

“The NHS should be a priority in the Brexit negotiations and the Government should immediately guarantee the rights of EU staff who are working here in our health and care service.”

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