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According to new figures, the number of nurses registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) since the EU referendum has dropped by 96%.
In July last year, 1,304 nurses from the EU joined the NMC register, compared to just 46 in April this year.
Alongside this, the number of EU trained nurses and midwives leaving the register has also increased since July 2016. The highest number recorded was 406 In April 2017.
This sharp drop in applications to work in the UK will no doubt place more pressure on the NHS and its current recruitment crisis.
Although the NMC are quick to not put all blame on the Brexit vote, with experts outlining the introduction of tougher English language testing, could have also played a part.
Jackie Smith, Chief Executive of the NMC, said “It is more likely that a combination of factors are at play including the recent introduction of English language controls and the uncertainty about the effect of Brexit on individual nurses.”
“As a result, we will be shortly undertaking research to help us better understand the reasons why these nurses and midwives are choosing to leave our register.”
However, Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation, has suggested a more sustainable approach to the nurse’s workforce is needed: “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 […] 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.”
Have you recently left the register as an EU nurse since the Brexit vote last June? Get in touch with us today and let us know your reasons why.
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