EU doctors and nurses working in Sheffield consider leaving NHS over Brexit fears

Dozens of EU doctors and nurses working in the NHS in Sheffield say they're considering leaving the UK due to Brexit, according to a new report.

Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 7:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 2:18 pm
Sheffield has 391 EU workers employed within NHS services in the city. Picture: PA

Some 57 doctors, 27 nurses and 94 other members of staff who all work within the health service in Sheffield said they considered leaving the country after the EU referendum vote back in June 2016.

Research shows 391 EU staff work across Sheffield NHS hospitals and care services but 46 per cent are considering their future in the UK.

Calculations show it would costs the NHS in Sheffield around 1.8m to re-hire the staff lost.

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In Yorkshire, 1,330 EU staff said they were considering leaving due to Brexit - a cost of £13.3m to replace.

The Liberal Democrats, who carried out the research said 'Brexit will inflict serious staff shortages on the NHS'.

They said Brexit could create a £265m bill to re-hire doctors and nurses from the EU after 2019.

The number of EU nationals registering as nurses in the UK has already fallen by 90 per cent since the referendum.

Commenting on the figures, Liberal Democrat leader on Sheffield Council, Shaffaq Mohammed said: “Hospitals in Sheffield are heavily dependent on doctors, nurses and other support staff from the EU. But many are now planning to leave the country because their rights here have not been guaranteed.

"These are skilled and hard-working people, who all work tirelessly to look after all of us. Our NHS, and the care we all rely on, will suffer without them.

"It will cost local NHS trusts around £1.8m to bring in EU staff to fill these jobs over the next 5 years, a wholly unnecessary burden at a time when the NHS is being asked to make dramatic efficiency savings.

"The NHS is far too precious to be damaged by Theresa May’s decision to pursue a UKIP-style Brexit."

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield said: "As a Labour Shadow Minister I've challenged the Tories reckless approach to Brexit and its impact on the NHS.

"Since last July we've been leading calls in Parliament to give certainty to EU nationals in the UK, who are a crucial part of the NHS and social care workforce."

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “We understand the need to give valued NHS staff from the EU certainty, which is exactly why we have made clear that the future of those EU nationals working in our health and care system should be a priority in Brexit negotiations.

“We also have over 52,000 nurses in training to ensure the NHS has the nurses it needs.”