Nurses and midwives leaving the NHS at an ‘alarming’ rate
Posted on 2/11/2017 by
Nursing experts said the number of staff leaving the official register is unprecedented.
The number of nurses and midwives leaving the profession over the last 12 months continues to rise at an “alarming” rate with both a growing number of UK and EU staff walking away from their roles, official figures show.
More than 29,000 Britons left the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s register in the year to September 2017, compared to 26,653 over the previous 12 months – an increase of nine per cent.
The number of nurses and midwives from Europe leaving the register has also increased by 67 per cent – from 2,435 last year compared to 4,067 this year. Meanwhile, the number joining the register from the EU has dropped dramatically from 10,178 in 2016 to 1,107 this year, a decrease of 89 per cent. Some 2,277 nurses and midwives from the rest of the world left the profession compared to 2,090 last year. “We need urgent steps to help ease intolerable workplace pressures.” Saffron Cordery, Director of Policy and Strategy, NHS Providers
While the number of nurses and midwives leaving the register from the UK continues to rise, indications are that the number joining remains static when compared with the previous 12 month period, the NMC said.
Jackie Smith, chief executive and registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, said the trend is “worrying… and our data is clear that this is being driven by both UK and EU registrants”.
She added: “These figures continue to highlight the major challenges faced by the UK’s health and care sectors around the recruitment and retention of staff. Nurses and midwives work incredibly hard in very difficult circumstances. Those responsible for workforce matters will no doubt respond to what these trends are showing.”
Saffron Cordery, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, which represents trusts, suggested the uncertainty surrounding the rights of EU citizens post-Brexit and rising demand were the reasons behind the rise.
“It is extremely disappointing to see that increasing numbers of UK graduates and nurses and midwives from Europe are leaving the register. The dramatic drop in the numbers joining the register from the EU is particularly worrying,” she said.
“NHS trusts are working hard to make the NHS a great place to work, but they need more support. We need urgent steps to help ease intolerable workplace pressures. There should be clarity on what the end of the pay cap means. And the government should confirm the right to remain for EU staff working in the NHS.” “These alarming new figures from the NMC represent a double whammy for the NHS and patients.”
Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing Janet Davies, chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “These alarming new figures from the NMC represent a double whammy for the NHS and patients. Not only has the number of UK homegrown nurses quitting the profession gone up – at the same time, significant numbers of the EU-trained nurses on whom the Health Service depends are leaving, and there’s also been a huge drop in nursing staff coming to work here from EU countries. All of this is happening while the NHS is short of at least 40,000 nurses.
“Theresa May has left it far too late to send out the message that professionals working here are desperately needed, and that she will give them priority in the Brexit negotiations. It is no surprise that, for as long as the Prime Minister fails to do this, many feel they have no choice but to leave.”