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25.04.18

NMC registrations drop as Brexit drives EU staff home

The number of EU nurses and midwives leaving the register increased by 29% last year, new figures have revealed.

Figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) show that between April 2017 and March 2018, almost 4,000 people left.

Not only this, but there also continues to be a “dramatic drop” in those joining the register from the EU, with just 805 EU nurses and midwives joining the register in the same period compared with 6,382 the previous year - a drop of 87%.

However, encouragingly, the number of international nurses and midwives joining the register from outside of the EU has risen for the fourth year running, with over 1,000 more on the register compare to March 2017.

Although there has been a sustained decline in the number of UK trained nurses and midwives registered to work in the UK, this appears to be stabilising, with first time registrations at the highest level in four years, and 4,034 fewer have left the register.

Despite this, the total number of nurses and midwives on the register at the end of March 2018 was 495 less than at the end of March 2017.

Jackie Smith, chief executive and registrar of the NMC, said that the number of people from the EU that are leaving the register is a “major concern.”

The NMC carried out a survey of 3,496 people who left the register between June and November 2017 to learn their reasons for leaving.

EU nurses and midwives cited Brexit as their top reason, whereas the main reasons for UK registrants leaving were staffing levels, retirement and changes to personal circumstances.

Smith said: “We asked people why they were leaving and for the small number of EU nurses and midwives who responded it’s clear that Brexit is playing a part, while retirement and staffing levels are clear factors in the decision of UK nurses and midwives to leave the profession.

“The government has announced an increase in undergraduate training places and those responsible for workforce planning should continue to look at what can be done to better support the nursing profession at this difficult time.”

Top image: Andrew Linscott

 

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