Brexit and health care: a view from the cliff-edge

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Series Details 14.07.17
Publication Date 14/07/2017
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The National Health Service (NHS) provided the backdrop to the referendum on the European Union in the United Kingdom in June 2016. The big red bus with its promise of £350 million a week to the NHS was a siren call to the voters. As the dust has settled however it is increasingly apparent that Brexit will have consequences for the NHS (and social care) other than a simple transfer of cash to provide enhanced services.

Staffing issues in the NHS in the Context of Brexit

In July 2017, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the UK released figures which showed that for the first time there were more nurses and midwives leaving the register than joining it. In updated figures published on the 1 November 2017 showed that trend was continuing. Over the last 12 months the number of UK graduates leaving the profession had increased by 9%.

The number of nurses and midwives from Europe leaving the register had also increased by 67%, while the number joining the register from the EU had dropped dramatically from 10,178 in 2016 to 1,107 in 2017, a decrease of 89%.

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Related Links
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union
United Kingdom: House of Lords: Library: Library Note LLN 2016/61 (18.11.16): Leaving the European Union: NHS and Social Care Workforce
UK: Parliament: House of Commons: Committees: Inquiry: Brexit and health and social care
Nuffield Trust: Briefing, May 2017: General Election 2017. Getting a Brexit deal that works for the NHS
Nuffield Trust: Tag: Brexit and the NHS
Pharma Times, 15.07.17: Brexit Alliance forms to protect UK patients, healthcare,_healthcare_1195751
Blog: LSE Brexit, 05.09.17: Warning: the cost of Brexit could seriously damage your health service
The Guardian, 12.06.17: 96% drop in EU nurses registering to work in Britain since Brexit vote
Nursing Times: Tag: Brexit and Nursing
Nursing Times, 01.11.17: Brexit dip in EU nurses coming to UK to be expected, says Hunt
Nursing and Midwifery Council: Press Release, 02.11.17: Increasing number of nurses and midwives leaving profession ‘highlights major challenges faced by health and care sectors'
BBC News, 02.11.17: EU nurses 'turning their backs on UK'
The Guardian, 14.11.17: One in five European NHS doctors plan to quit UK, survey reveals
BMA: Brexit and the medical profession
BMA: EU doctor survey 2017 (November 2017)
The Guardian, 21.09.17: Almost 10,000 EU health workers have quit NHS since Brexit vote
BBC News, 29.08.18: Brexit poses risk to care, says Royal College of Nursing
Royal College of Nursing, News, 29.08.18: RCN calls for referendum on final Brexit deal
Royal College of Nursing, News, 14.02.18: NHS faces Brexit disaster
Royal College of Nursing: Parliamentary Briefing, 09.04.18: The Effect of Brexit on the NHS

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