Large number of EU nurses and midwives leaving UK since Brexit vote

Full story in the Guardian, 2 November 2017

The number of nurses and midwives coming to work in Britain from Europe has plunged by 89% since the UK voted to leave the EU, figures have revealed.

The sharp fall coincided with a sudden increase in qualified European medics leaving the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) register: from 2,435 in 2015-16 to 4,067 in the last year – a rise of 67%.

The NMC data, released on Thursday, also shows a third worrying trend relating to the NHS’s already shortstaffed workforce – that the number of UK-trained nurses and midwives leaving the register rose by 11%, from 26,653 in 2015-16 to 29,019 last year.

“These dramatic figures should set alarm bells ringing in Whitehall and every UK health department. [They] represent a double whammy for the NHS and patients”, said Janet Davies, the chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing.