Bradshaw – We could have 9,000 extra nurses with money earmarked for Whitehall pen-pushers

The National Health Service could hire nearly 9,000 extra nurses with the money that the Government is using to hire new civil servants to deal with Brexit, research by the Open Britain campaign reveals today.

It comes after new figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council showed the number of nurses from the European Union working in the NHS has continued to decline, creating staff shortages as the NHS faces a potential winter crisis in the coming months. 

At a Cabinet meeting earlier this week, Brexit Secretary David Davis told Ministers that the Government has already hired 3,000 extra civil servants to deal with Brexit, and plans to hire another 5,000. Open Britain calculates that this would cost £207 million – enough to hire 8,955 staff nurses in the NHS.

Commenting, Ben Bradshaw MP, leading supporter of Open Britain and member of the Health Select Committee, said:

“The NHS was promised £350 million more a week by the Leave campaign. Instead it’s getting less money and staff are leaving in droves.

“Now the Government are spending cash that the NHS badly needs on extra civil servants because Brexit is so much more complicated than they said it would be.

“With our NHS and social care system at breaking point and Brexit making things worse, more and more people are asking: is this what we voted for when we voted Leave?”


Notes to editors:

David Davis told the Cabinet this week that the Government has taken on an extra 3,000 civil servants to deal with Brexit, and plans to take on 5,000 more:

According to the ONS, the average annual salary of a civil servant is £25,900. This means that the estimated annual cost to the public purse of hiring 8,000 civil servants would be £207,200,000:

According to, the average annual salary of a staff nurse is £23,137:

This means that for the cost of hiring 8,000 civil servants, the NHS could hire 8,955 nurses.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council figures are reported here: