Commenting on the latest figures from the National Midwifery Council published today (Thursday), UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:
“The latest drop in the number of nurses and midwives is more than worrying. Although the reduction in the number of UK nurses may not be huge, the overall figures will have a major impact on the NHS and patients.
“This is because EU nurses are leaving en masse, creating a huge gap in the workforce. Brexit has left many feeling uncertain about their future in the UK. It’s vital for the NHS that the government now secures the right to stay for European nationals.
“At a time when the NHS is struggling to cope with a rising number of patients, the last thing the service needs is a chronic fall in the number of nurses and midwives.
“Staff retention is a huge issue. If more nurses continue to leave than join, staff-patient ratios will become even more dangerous. Ministers must address the recruitment crisis in the NHS now.”