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  1. ITV Report

Nurse warns more EU workers will leave the NHS following Brexit vote

A nurse from the Anglia region has warned more EU workers will leave the NHS unless the Prime Minister offers them reassurance they'll be able to stay after Brexit.

It comes as Freedom of Information figures, obtained by the Liberal Democrats, show a rise in the number of EU nationals leaving the health service since the vote to leave last June.

There are already 24,000 unfilled posts and Spanish national Joan Pons Laplana believes that number will only rise if something isn't done soon.

Nearly 300 nurses from the EU left their jobs in our region in 2016. Credit: ITV News Anglia

We give 110% everyday.

When I go to work, I care for people and I make sure they savour everything.

At the moment it's arriving at a point when I can't guarantee the safety of the patients because we're short of staff in every shift.

That's happened chronically all around the country.

– Joan Pons Laplana, NHS nurse
286
How many EU nurses left their jobs in 2016.

Figures from nine hospitals across our region show 286 nurses from the EU left their jobs last year, which was an increase of 60% compared to 2014 (178).

86 of those left the Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, but two years before it was just 20.

The figures have prompted the Liberal Democrats to call on the Prime Minister to give EU nationals assurances that they will be able to stay, but The Department of Health insists it values the crucial role of overseas workers in the NHS.

"Every shift we are working with less nurses than we should be and that's impacting on the care," Mr Laplana said.

"Not only in the care, but it our mentality and the resilience of our nurses.

"Now, on the top of that, is Brexit and they tell me that I am not welcome any more. I'm not surprised that people are angry and leaving."