Seventeen months after Britain voted to leave the European Union, many Europeans are voting to leave Britain — with their feet. Some 122,000 of them packed their bags in the year through March, according to the latest figures available, while the stream of new arrivals has slowed.
The Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education, in a submission to the Health Select Committee’s inquiry into healthcare education and training, said Brexit “threatens” to prevent European Union nurses from reducing the current shortfall in the region.
The study, carried out by the British Medical Association, also found that almost half of the health service’s 12,000 medics from the European Economic Area were considering moving abroad. The findings have sparked fears of a Brexit ‘brain-drain’ among vital medical staff.
More than 2,600 drugs have some stage of manufacture in Britain and 45 million patient packs are supplied from the U.K. to other European countries each month, while another 37 million flow in the opposite direction. Brexit threatens the free flow of these goods.
Health union leaders said the trends were alarming and constituted “a double whammy for the NHS and patients”. The NHS is already short of an estimated 40,000 nurses across the UK and 3,500 midwives in England alone.
Nick Fahy, a health policy senior researcher at the University of Oxford said a hard or no deal Brexit could leave patients “at immediate risk”. He also warned if EU staff left the UK, London could “suck in” Welsh NHS staff.
Statistics released today reveal in the last full year before the referendum there were 19 EU nationals who left jobs at Poole Hospital, accounting for 4.5 per cent of all leavers, and 43 EU leavers from Royal Bournemouth Hospital, making up 8.4 per cent of the total leavers.