When the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union on 29 March 2017, multiple sectors were affected. That of the medical practice suffered no less. As of April 2018, only 46 nurses came to work in the United Kingdom, crashing by 96% in less than a year after the historic departure.
Despite some justifications that this steep decline may actually be caused by the wage gap for healthcare professionals, labor groups studying the impacts of Brexit consider the 40,000 vacancies to be due to difficulties in importing professionals. Over 10,000 nurse internationals left in the first year alone with the number steadily rising. Accounting for other healthcare professionals, the numbers leap close to 20,000.
In a survey last 25 April 2018, the NMC looked at 4,500 nurses’ reasons for leaving. Such study reveals that working conditions ranked first with about 44% of respondents considering this the deciding factor.
Still, the government is looking for other approaches. To assuage the problem, NHS England has launched a training program for nationals. This is after the executive non-departmental public body acknowledged that the service largely relies on international staff. They now look to develop the service from the inside and project to be making close to 2,200 nurses by 2019 with another 52,000 students in non-NHS schools.
This shortage has quickly impacted the quality of healthcare in the UK. With fewer nurses in practice, there are more patient workloads for nurses, fewer mentors for novice nurses, and much sooner burnout rates.
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