NHS workforce planners need to act now to reduce the impact of 'worse case' scenarios, post Brexit. Even if the worst case does not materialise, this research reveals enough about how difficult things might get to warrant serious investment in our nursing workforce to ensure we can meet future demand.
With all of this uncertainty, it is absolutely vital that employers in the health service at least have a guarantee that their EU trained staff will be protected. Without this guarantee, they cannot be expected to guarantee safe staffing levels.
Around 7,500 nurses from the EU registered to work in the UK last year. This is an increase on the previous year, which was an increase on the year before that. Overseas nurses have played a vital role in the NHS since its inception, and will continue to do so, but clearly when trusts are relying more and more on this form of recruitment something is going wrong.
In the UK, NHS staffing is at the top of the news agenda with the reliance on agency staff as a result of NHS shortages making the headlines. Health worker shortages are not just an issue for the UK however. Globally we are short of 7.2million. This is more than just a shortage - this is a crisis.