Record numbers of nurses and midwives from EU27 countries quit Britain last year, fuelling fears that a Brexit brain drain will deepen the NHS’s already chronic staffing crisis.
A total of 3,962 such staff from the European Economic Area (EEA) left the Nursing and Midwifery Council register between 2017 and 2018. The register tracks who is eligible to work in those areas of healthcare in the UK.
The number of departures was 28% more than the 3,081 who left in 2016-17 and three times higher than the 1,311 who did so in 2013-14, the first year the NMC began keeping data on such departures.
At the same time, the number of EU nurses and midwives coming to work in the UK has fallen to its lowest level. Just 805 of them joined the NMC register in 2017-18. That total is just 13% of the 6,382 who came over the year before.