Register increase good news, but hard line on immigration could damage numbers

Rise still leaves the NHS short of what’s needed

Commenting on the latest figures published today (Tuesday) by the Nursing and Midwifery Council regarding the number of staff on its register, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“The more nurses and midwives on the register the merrier. But while it’s good to see more homegrown recruits entering the profession via the training routes, the rise still leaves the NHS way short of what’s needed.

“With Brexit dominating the domestic agenda, the numbers from European countries wanting to work here continue to decline. As EU staff understandably turn their backs on the UK, the NHS has become heavily reliant on nurses from elsewhere in the world.

“That’s why it’s so important that the government not only invests in a future UK workforce but also ensures any changes to the immigration system don’t deter the very health workers the NHS so desperately needs.”

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.

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