Commenting on new Nursing and Midwifery Council data published today (Thursday), UNISON national nursing officer Stuart Tuckwood said: “It‘s encouraging to see a rise in the number of nurses and midwives registered to work in the UK.
“But the NHS workforce crisis hasn’t gone away. The number of students starting nursing courses this year in England has plummeted by 12%.
“Much more must be done to recruit and keep hold of the health and care staff who are so desperately needed.
“Around half of new nurses are from overseas and without them, the NHS would collapse. Ministers must understand there are consequences to demonising migrant workers, who may choose to simply go to more welcoming countries.
“Nurses already here are considering moving elsewhere, driven away by poor pay and rising visa fees. The language from ministers in recent days will most likely deter others from joining the NHS at all.”
Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.