Umunna – Government’s immigration obsession to blame for increase in NHS vacancies

More than 86,000 posts in the NHS in England were vacant between January 2017 and March 2017, with the biggest shortfall in nursing, new figures released today show.

Statistics from NHS Digital show the number of vacancies increased by almost 8,000 compared to the same period in 2016. 

It comes weeks after figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) showed the number of EU nationals applying to work in Britain as nurses has fallen by 96 per cent since the EU referendum.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“At a time when our NHS is under great strain, these growing staff shortages represent a deadly double whammy.

“It is clear that hard Brexit, and the Government’s ideological obsession with cutting immigration, is hitting our public services. When the number of EU nationals applying to work in Britain as nurses has fallen by 96 per cent, it is clear the Government’s Brexit strategy is costing our NHS the staff it desperately needs.

“To support our NHS, it is crucial that Ministers make clear they welcome EU nationals coming to work in Britain. They should start by dropping their unachievable target of cutting annual net migration to the ‘tens of thousands.’”

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Notes to editors:

The new NHS Digital figures are reported here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40715955

The NMC figures are here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/12/96-drop-in-eu-nurses-registering-to-work-in-britain-since-brexit-vote