Numbers of European nurses falls from 9,000 to 900 a year after Brexit vote

The number of European nurses arriving in Britain has fallen from about 9,000 to 900 a year since the Brexit referendum, it was revealed today.

London has the highest vacancy rate in the country and the ability to lure health professionals from the Continent is seen as vital in plugging workforce gaps and responding to the growing demand for NHS care.

Concerns will increase over the impact of Brexit on the NHS after the latest UK statistics from the Nursing and Midwifery Council showed that the number of newly-registered nurses and midwives from the European Economic Area fell from 9,389 in 2015/16 to 968 in the year to March.

London’s 13.5 % nursing vacancy rate is the highest in the NHS and means that 8,912 posts are unfilled, including 6,247 in acute hospitals and 1,994 mental health nurses.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Our NHS nurses provide incredible care in the toughest of circumstances. It’s an absolute disgrace that their work is being made much harder by chronic underfunding and under-staffing.”

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