latest health care news

14.11.17

NHS ‘will not be able to cope’ without EU doctors as fifth plan to leave

Almost a fifth of EU doctors have made plans to leave the UK following the Brexit referendum, a survey by the BMA has found.

Currently EU workers make up around 7.7% of UK doctors, and many more work in public health and academic medicine.

But almost half of those surveyed said that they were considering leaving the UK following the referendum, and 29% said that they were unsure about whether their future remained in the UK.

When asked the reason that they were considering leaving the UK, the top three reasons cited were Brexit, negative attitudes towards EU workers and uncertainty over future immigration rules.

BMA treasurer Dr. Andrew Dearden called this revelation “a real concern,” and argued that the NHS “would not be able to cope” without its EU doctors.

“We need clarity on what the future holds for EU citizens and their families living in the UK, and an end to the uncertainty and insecurity that could see many voting with their feet,” he added.

“It’s also vital that any future immigration system is flexible enough to ensure the NHS can recruit and retain doctors and other NHS workers in sufficient numbers.”

Responding to the BMA’s findings, Saffron Cordery, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said: “There is increasing evidence that Brexit is having an adverse impact on staff recruitment and retention in the NHS.

“The government must deliver certainty for EU staff. It should reassure them that their commitment to the NHS is greatly valued and will continue to be welcome. 

It should also provide assurance on immigration policy so trusts can continue to recruit overseas while we strengthen our workforce here.”

NHS Providers published its own report last week, ‘There for us: a better future for the NHS,’ which stated that difficulties in international recruitment are threatening patient care.

Professor Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, who wrote about the impact of Brexit in the latest edition of NHE, warned today that the BMA’s survey of EEA doctors revealed “deeply concerning” statistics.

“International doctors play a vital role in the delivery of healthcare in the UK and are valued members of the workforce,” she continued.

“Whilst we welcome the positive statements which have been made, we feel that government should provide guarantees that the UK is able to recruit and retain international doctors in the future.”

NHS Employers’ Cavendish Coalition co-convenor, Danny Mortimer, also called the BMA’s latest figures “alarming,” particularly when a shortage of staff and the looming winter mean that the NHS is already under enormous pressure.

He added: “We need to make sure the UK remains an attractive prospect for the brightest and best from the EEA, as we know we won't be able to fill gaps with domestic recruitment in the short to medium term.

"We must be able to continue recruiting from abroad, and firm assurances must be provided on guarantees for EU citizens already living and working in the UK.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

Turning blue lights green

11/04/2019Turning blue lights green

Polly Billington, director of UK100, a cities network that campaigns on env... more >
Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

10/04/2019Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Steve Hams, director of quality and chief nurse at Gloucestershire Hospital... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

System working in an uncertain world

09/05/2019System working in an uncertain world

What, exactly, is an integrated care system? Well, it’s unclear, writes Kacey Cogle, policy advisor at NHS Providers. On the NHS England website, integrated care sy... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >