EU nurses are abandoning the UK in increasing numbers in the aftermath of Brexit, new figures show.

The number of nurses and midwives from Europe leaving the register rose by 67% between October 2016 and September 2017 compared with year earlier period, according to the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC).

In the same period the number of nurses and midwives from Europe joining the register dropped by 89%.

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The figures also show a 9% increase in the number of UK graduates leaving the profession.

Number of nurses and midwives leaving the register by country of initial registration

Country Oct 2015 to
Sept 2016
Oct 2016 to
Sept 2017
UK 26,653 29,019
Europe 2,435 4,067
Rest of the world 2,090 2,277
Total 31,178 35,363


While the number of UK nurses and midwives leaving the register continues to rise those joining the register remained static compared with the previous year.

Jackie Smith, Chief Executive and Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, said: “It’s worrying that we are seeing a continuing rise in nurses and midwives leaving the register and our data is clear that this is being driven by both UK and EU registrants.

“These figures continue to highlight the major challenges faced by the UK’s health and care sectors around the recruitment and retention of staff. Nurses and midwives work incredibly hard in very difficult circumstances. Those responsible for workforce matters will no doubt respond to what these trends are showing.”

Martin Green, CEO of Care England, told Care Home Professional: “The crisis in nursing home provision is happening now and we will soon find that there is not enough capacity for the needs of today, let alone for the challenges of tomorrow. We need all of the system to recognise the challenge and to work together to deliver a long-term solution.”

Tags : BrexitNMCnurseRecruitmentResearch

The author Lee Peart

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