Immigration fall exposes exodus in EU staff from NHS – health service expected to lose 4,500 more EU staff by end of Parliament - People's Vote

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Immigration fall exposes exodus in EU staff from NHS – health service expected to lose 4,500 more EU staff by end of Parliament

As immigration figures are published today, new analysis of the staffing figures published by the NHS show that 1,400 midwives and nurses from EU member states have left the NHS since the Brexit vote. A future projection of the figures shows that the situation is set to get worse. Until the end of the current Parliament in 2022, the NHS stands to lose a further 4,512 EU midwives and nurses.

The new analysis from the People’s Vote campaign highlights the real risk that Brexit poses to our NHS, contrary to claims made by Leave campaigners and the Government. 

In the meantime, vacancies for those jobs will continue to rise by 14,788. 

The warnings come after the Nursing and Midwifery Council revealed in March that almost 4,000 EEA health staff left their register in the previous year, with 47% citing Brexit as one of their main reasons for leaving the UK.

The revelations come as the NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary, and are proof that Brexit is not the solution to the mounting problems facing our health service.

It is fast becoming clear that the economic hit from Brexit, as well as the difficulties it will create in recruiting staff from Europe, will damage the NHS rather than benefit it.

 

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said:

“These figures should be a wakeup call to anyone who loves our NHS. It’s now clear that the staffing crisis in our health service is made worse by Brexit, not better as we were told.

“Our NHS needs more midwives and other healthcare professionals from EU countries, not fewer – but since the referendum we are now sadly seeing people leaving. Not a day goes by without new facts emerging that show the Brexit people were promised can simply not be delivered.

“As the NHS celebrates 70 proud years of existence, we should do what’s right and demand a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal so that the people, not politicians, can decide if Brexit is right for our health service.”

/ends

 

Notes to editors

Research

Month

NHS nurses and midwives from EU countries

NHS advertised vacancies for nurses and midwives

09/2016

23,582

31,634

12/2016

23,599

31,197

03/2017

23,616

32,929

06/2017

23,052

31,789

09/2017

22,625

34,260

12/2017

22,218

34,567

03/2018

22,157

35,345

06/2018

21,919

36,124

09/2018

21,682

36,902

12/2018

21,444

37,680

03/2019

21,207

38,459

06/2019

20,969

39,237

09/2019

20,732

40,015

12/2019

20,494

40,794

03/2020

20,257

41,572

06/2020

20,019

42,350

09/2020

19,782

43,129

12/2020

19,544

43,907

03/2021

19,307

44,685

06/2021

19,069

45,464

09/2021

18,832

46,242

12/2021

18,594

47,021

03/2022

18,357

47,799

06/2022

18,119

48,577

09/2022

17,882

49,356

12/2022

17,644

50,134

People’s Vote analysis of NHS Digital Workforce Statistics, accessed 29 June 2018, link
People’s Vote analysis of NHS Digital Vacancy Statistics, accessed 29 June 2018, link
Shaded: Future projection based on existing figures

 

The importance of nurses and midwives from the EU is amplified by the fact that recent reports have shown that UK-based nursing and midwifery training applications have fallen by a third respectively (The Independent, 5 February 2018, link / Sky News, 6 April 2018, link).

 

The Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives have both been clear that nurses and midwives from the EU are hugely important for Britain’s health service.

"A collapse of the EU workforce presents a huge challenge for the sustainability of the UK’s health and social care sector.” (Royal College of Nursing, May 2018, link).

“The RCM is concerned of the impact Brexit is already having on midwife numbers. Over the past year, just 33 midwives arrived in the UK from elsewhere in Europe and we used to welcome hundreds every year to work in our national health service.” (Royal College of Midwives, 14 June 2018, link).

 

Meanwhile, the BMA has issued a strong warning that Brexit is a threat to our NHS. 

“Brexit is a disastrous act of national self-harm. We know that, indeed most MPs know it too,’ warned BMA medical ethics committee chair John Chisholm. ‘I cannot think of a single way in which being outside of the EU will be to the advantage to the UK. ‘It is a major threat to the NHS and to the health of our patients [and] we need to speak out about the damage Brexit will do to our patients and to healthcare professionals.’ (British Medical Association, June 2018, link).

Figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) show a significant rise in the number of EU nurses and midwives leaving the register. Between April 2017 and March 2018, 3,962 people left. (Nursing and Midwifery Council, March 2018 link).