HNS Nurse

The Guardian is reporting that “Record numbers of EU nurses quit NHS.”

My question is, Why is this a problem?

Yes, I do know that it is going to be a problem. I understand that we will be struggling to provide sufficient staff for the NHS if we do not have thousands of foreign workers…

But why?

According to the Guardian the “shocking numbers” are something like this, EU nationals registering as nurses in England has dropped by 92% since the Brexit referendum in June, and a record number are quitting the NHS.”

This, “haemorrhaging” of foreign staff is being blamed by the Royal College of Nursing, (RCN) on the failure of the government to provide EU nationals in the UK with any security about their future.

Instead of blaming this situation on Brexit and on the lack of security for EU nationals, (even though the government appear to have assured EU nationals that NUN of them will be told to leave.) Should we not be asking the much more foundational question of…

“Why is Britain dependent on foreigners to staff our health service?”

An estimated 57,000 EU nationals are working within the NHS. This figure includes 10,000 doctors and 20,000 nurses, which probably means that we have something like 25,000+ ancillary staff and cleaners etc.

It gets worse if you look at the bigger picture, 26% of doctors are not UK citizens. The British Medical Association observe that without the contribution of non-British staff, “many NHS services would struggle to provide effective care to their patients”.

The British Medical Association observe that without the contribution of non-British staff, “many NHS services would struggle to provide effective care to their patients”.

The Philippines alone is providing well over 12,000 of its nationals to help staff the NHS.

In 2015 the British government added nurses to the government’s shortage occupation list.

There should be some exchange of workers.

Now, while there is obviously some scope for foreign staff to be temporarily in the UK while there to improve their skills or the like, and while we may have some of our health workers abroad doing much the same thing or even helping in a deprived or needed area, surely a country like the UK should be, on the hold capable of providing its own health staff.

Britain should be able to supply workers for the NHS.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, is describing the NHS as being, “in a staffing crisis like never before.” She also said, “The government has failed to train enough British nurses and cannot afford to lose the international workforce on which the NHS so heavily relies.”

In my opinion, this is not only true of nurses and doctors and other health workers but in many other areas of industry and business.

It is time we stopped arguing about this or that education reform. We need to go back to solid and sound education that leaves people willing and capable of gaining meaningful employment and becoming productive members of society.

A great nation like Britain should be capable of staffing the NHS.