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EU nurse and midwife applicants plummet

12 June, 2017

EU nurse and midwife applicants plummet

There has been a drop of 96% in the number of nurses and midwives from the EU registering to practice in the UK since July last year.

The figures were obtained by the Health Foundation from a Freedom of Information request to the NMC. 

They show a decline from 1304 in July last year, to 344 two months later in September.

The data shows that numbers have continued to fall, with just 46 EU nurse or midwife registrants in April this year.

Jon Skewes, RCM director for policy, employment relations and communications, said: ‘This is a staggering drop and one that worries the RCM greatly. 

‘We said before the referendum that we feared it would put off potential midwives coming to the UK and this is proving to be the case.
 
‘England is already 3500 midwives short of the numbers it needs and this serious fall is not going to help that situation.This situation is also being compounded by the Government’s removal of bursaries for student midwives.’
 
He continued: ‘This outlines why it is so critical that the Government invests in maternity services and in midwives for the NHS. 

‘We have had this critical midwife shortage for over a generation and this Government’s failure too invest in the NHS is doing a great disservice to mothers babies and their families, and to the dedicated midwives in our NHS who have to work in a system where demand is far outstripping the resources available.’

Anita Charlesworth, director of research and economics at the Health Foundation, added: ‘Clearly action is needed to offset any further loss of EU nursing staff in the near future.'

A Department of Health spokesperson said EU nurses and midwives play a valued role and will be a priority in Brexit negotiations.

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