Number of EU nurses applying to work in UK down by 96% since Brexit vote

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Richard Pallot

The number of EU nurses applying to work in the UK has fallen by 96% since the Brexit vote.

Figures show the number of applicants from the EU has fallen sharply from 1,304 last July to just 46 this April.

This is likely to put pressure on the already strained NHS which already has a shortage of 30,000 nurses in England alone.

The figures, obtained by the Health Foundation following a Freedom of Information request to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) were released ahead of a report due on the issue to be published later this year.

Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation, said: "Without EU nurses it will be even harder for the NHS and other employers to find the staff they need to provide safe patient care.

"The chronic shortage of nurses is the result of years of short-term planning and cuts to training places.

"The findings should be a wake-up call to politicians and health service leaders."

The Department of Health have spoken of the valuable contribution EU nationals who work in the NHS make and said this will be taken into account during Brexit negotiations.

A Health Service Journal document leaked in April predicted a shortage of between 26,000 and 42,000 nurses by 2025-2026.