An “alarming” new report has shown both EU and UK nurses increasingly quitting the NHS, fuelling the first drop in staff numbers for four years.
Figures released by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which registers nurses before they are able to practise in the UK, show 35,363 nurses left the NHS between October 2016 and September 2017.
This compares to just 27,786 new nurses that joined in the same period.
This confirms analysis by The King’s Fund think-tank earlier this year predicting nurse numbers had fallen for the first time since 2013.
The Department of Health stressed that the drop represents “a mere 0.2%” of the nearly 700,000 nurses registered in the UK.
NHS leaders say the fall was “alarming” with the health service already struggling to fill vacancies and trying to respond to the “relentless rise in demand”.
The NMC analysis found the number of European nurses leaving jumped by two-thirds (67 per cent).
Full story in The Independent, 2 November 2017