How can the NHS recruit and retain migrant nurses after Brexit?

Georgia Spiliopoulos, Stephen Timmons
Content Type
Policy Brief
Asia Research Institute, University of Nottingham
Non-British nurses working for the National Health Service (NHS) face a number of challenges, which must be addressed in the context of ongoing Brexit negotiations. Since the 2016 Referendum result to leave the European Union (EU), the number of EU nurses registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) plummeted in 2017 by 96% – from 1,304 EU nurses registering with the NMC in July 2016 to just 46 in April 2017 (Siddique, 2017). This drop in numbers is also linked with the number of EU nurses leaving the UK (Matthews-King, 2017). A recent NMC report (2019) published a 1% increase, for the first time in three years, in the number of new nurse registrants, for the period between April 2018 and March 2019. This increase translates into 6,000 nurses from the UK, EU and overseas. These numbers, while encouraging, reflect the changes in international recruitment from EU and non-EU countries, and importantly the impact of Brexit on the retention of both EU and non-EU nurses. This paper recommends measures to support the retention of these nurses.
Health, Health Care Policy, Brexit, Public Health
Political Geography
Britain, United Kingdom, Asia