Laura Sharman 06 November 2018

NHS could be 51,000 nurses short after Brexit

The NHS could be short of 51,000 nurses by the end of the Brexit transition period, a new report has warned today.

The Brexit and the Health and Social Care Workforce in the UK report, commissioned by the Cavendish Coalition, forecasts a potential shortfall of up to 10,000 nurses in the NHS in England by 2021. This is in addition to the 41,722 existing vacancies.

The report, published by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), also highlights the fact the number of EEA nationals employed in social care grew by 68% between 2011 and 2016.

Danny Mortimer, co-convenor of the coalition and chief executive of NHS Employers, said: ‘These startling figures should be taken extremely seriously by those negotiating our departure from the EU.

‘The health and social care sector is deeply reliant on talented colleagues from across Europe and the rest of the world so it is deeply disheartening to see these projected workforce gaps at a time of rising demand for services.’

Mr Mortimer added that the future immigration system must be as ‘responsive and agile’ as possible.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Brexit Taskforce, said: 'This is a positive report that reinforces a number of concerns that the LGA has recently raised.

'From the cradle to the grave, social care will touch all of our lives in some way so its sustainability is critical.'

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