LINGO SHAKE-UP - More nurses from outside EU working in UK increased by 86 per cent after English language rules eased
Posted on 26/07/2018 by
The Nursing and Midwifery Council changed the English tests last year after they were blamed for a recruitment drop
MORE nurses and midwives from outside the EU have come to work in the UK after officials eased English language requirements.
The regulator is now registering an average of 440 overseas workers each month – up 86 per cent from 237 in previous months. The Nursing and Midwifery Council changed the way that workers had to demonstrate their language skills last November.
They can now choose to take an alternative test, which is less academic and easier to pass. They can also qualify by showing they have practiced in an English-speaking country or trained and been examined in English.
There were 69,425 nurses and midwives on the register from outside the EU at the end of June – up from 67,534 in July 2017.
Emma Broadbent, from the NMC, said: “It’s pleasing to see an increase in nurses and midwives from outside the EU joining the UK workforce over the past few months. The UK workforce is under significant pressure and it’s vital that we continue to enable the right people with the right skills and knowledge to join our register in the quickest and safest way possible.”
The number of new EU nurses coming to work in the UK fell by 87 per cent over the past year. And increase from outside the EU is not enough to make up the difference. One in ten nursing posts is vacant, with around 35,000 more nurses needed.
A new poll by The Health Foundation think tank found 71 per cent of Brits think the UK should continue attract nurses from the EU after Brexit.
Janet Davies, from the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Uncertainties and nervousness around Brexit have seen EU nurses leaving in droves. A nurse who trained in Barcelona is as welcome as a nurse who trained in Bradford, not least when the shortage is so great.
“The very latest figures on nurses from the wider world reveal a small but encouraging increase that we will continue to monitor.
“While the NHS has always relied on the contribution of its international workforce, there is no alternative to a proper domestic plan and that is still seriously lacking.”