Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has reacted to figures published today by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) with a stark warning that Britain is risking the future of the NHS if we proceed with Brexit after data shows a decline in the number of EU nurses and midwives coming to the UK to work. This, alongside the fact that there are fewer nurses joining the NHS than leaving it each year, spells bad news for our health service.
The NMC's data reveals that since September 2016, there has been an 89% drop in the number of EU professionals joining the register, as well as a 67% increase in the number leaving. To put that into figures, the NMC saw 10,178 nurses and midwives join the register in September 2016 however this declined to 1,107 in 2017. In addition, the analysis also identified that the number of EU nurses and midwives leaving the register went up from 2,435 in September 2016 to 4067 in September of this year.
Daniel Zeichner said, "what these figures reveal is that Brexit is damaging our prize possession, the NHS, and we cannot allow this to happen. We already have vacancy rates of 40,000 in nursing and midwifery across the UK so how does the Government intend to keep people safe and well in our hospitals?
It isn't only EU staff that are leaving the NHS either - across the board there are more nurses leaving the NHS than joining it each year. We need to train more nurses, and we need to make being a nurse more sustainable by increasing staffing levels and scrapping the pay cap. The NHS will be 70 years old next year and as we approach this monumental milestone in Britain history, we are on the verge of a catastrophe, with funding shortages and a mass exodus of staff.
It could not be clearer, people with the skills and knowledge that we need no longer see a future in the UK and we will suffer greatly for this. We need to stop the madness of Brexit or risk damaging Britain's most valuable asset, our NHS.'