Drastic action needed to stop nurse and midwife exodus, says UNISON

Investment needed in apprenticeships to train for the future

Commenting on new figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) published today (Wednesday) on the numbers of nurses and midwives leaving or joining its register, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“The referendum result has made many EU nationals feel unwelcome. It’s no surprise nurses and midwives think they’ll be better off elsewhere. Not enough has been done to reassure European workers that they’ll have rights, jobs and a future after Brexit.

“The small rise in the number of home-grown nurses is heading in the right direction, but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to what’s needed.

“Without proper funding and bold new ideas, experienced professionals from within the UK and across Europe will continue to leave, putting further pressure on the struggling health service.

“The government should be investing in large-scale apprenticeship programmes to train up existing NHS staff who can’t afford hefty study fees. People who know the NHS already would make great nurses and are more likely to stick around.”

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 both the public and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Anthony Barnes T: 0207 121 5255 M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk
Siobhan Cooley T: 0207 121 5555 M: 07903 870786 E: s.cooley@unison.co.uk