New figures published today (Wednesday) by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) show the number of registered nurses and midwives from the European Economic Area (EEA) registered in the UK decreased by 5.9 percent between March 2018 and March 2019, from 35,115 to 33,035. The number of EEA nurses and midwives registering for the first time was just 968 between April 2018 and March 2019, up from the 805 who registered in 2017-2018 but a massive decrease compared to the 9,389 who registered in 2015-2016, before the Brexit referendum.
Commenting, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee and a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign said:
“We now know that Brexit is already causing huge damage to our NHS, with far fewer nurses and midwives arriving from Europe. This is intensifying an already serious shortfall in qualified healthcare staff and is putting our health service into a critical condition.
“Over the last year, the number of EEA nurses and midwives arriving to work in the NHS was just 968, a massive fall from the 9,389 who arrived in 2015-2016, the year before the Brexit referendum.
“No-one voted for a Brexit that leaves our NHS worse-off, with a huge shortfall of the qualified staff it so desperately needs. With so many of the promises about Brexit now broken, especially the promises Brexiters made about our health service, we need a People’s Vote so the public can have the final say.”