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Monday, March 27, 2017

Brexit starts to impact on the health service already

Of all the lies and misleading statements put out by the Leave side during the referendum those on immigration were the worse. As has been pointed out many times many public services depend on immigrants for staff, not least the health service.

Even if there were £350m a week more for health, a fantasy if ever there was one, the reality of Brexit is that we could not recruit enough staff to spend it effectively on patient treatment.

Although there is two days to go before Article 50 is triggered and two years before we finally leave the EU, that reality has already started to hit home. The Guardian reports that the number of EU nationals registering as nurses in England has dropped by 92% since the Brexit referendum in June, and a record number are quitting the NHS. No doubt a similar situation exists in Wales and Scotland.

The paper says that only 96 nurses joined the NHS from other European nations in December 2016,a drop from 1,304 in July, the month after the referendum. They add that at the same time, freedom of information responses compiled by the Liberal Democrats from 80 of the 136 NHS acute trusts in England show that 2,700 EU nurses left the health service in 2016, compared to 1,600 EU nurses in 2014, a 68% increase:

The haemorrhaging of foreign staff is being blamed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on the failure of the government to provide EU nationals in the UK with any security about their future. May has claimed that Britain cannot act unilaterally to guarantee residency as it would weaken her hand in the coming article 50 negotiations over Brexit.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said the government’s tactic was backfiring, and now threatened the sustainability of the health service.

“The government risks turning off the supply of qualified nurses from around the world at the very moment the health service is in a staffing crisis like never before,” she said. “As she pulls the trigger to begin negotiations, the prime minister must tell EU nurses and those in other occupations that they are needed and welcome in the NHS. Sadly, it is no surprise that EU staff are leaving – they have been offered no security or reassurance that they will be able to keep their jobs. Few are able to live with such uncertainty.

“The government has failed to train enough British nurses and cannot afford to lose the international workforce on which the NHS so heavily relies.”

The paper says that there are an estimated 57,000 EU nationals working for the NHS, including 10,000 doctors and 20,000 nurses. That is a big challenge for Theresa May and her hard Brexit. She needs to get this right, give assurances to and protect the rights of foreign nationals already in the UK or else the whole system could collapse altogether.
I would not be surprised if the rabid Brexiteers of the right would be happy about this situation. They would welcome its demise to bring in privatisation of the NHS. The rich will be able to pay, the majority of us will have to think again. The situation must be pointed out in our leaflets and maybe a solution, if the situation gets worse.
More anti Brexit propaganda. Despite what some may think the EU did not invent immigration and benevolently bestow it upon us in order to enrich and enlighten our otherwise ignorant lives.

Immigrants were a big part of the NHS long before the EU existed as we know it today, and if you look at the statistics you will see that even now the NHS is far more dependent on non EU immigrants from countries we have strong historical ties with. No doubt the EU would prefer us to be more dependent on it as its just another rug they can threaten to pull from under us, as is there modus operandi.

The truth is if you have the skills, qualifications or experience you can work anywhere in the world. You don't need politicians to make this happen, in fact they are more likely to be an obstruction.

The EU has done far more harm that good to immigration and the Lib Dems would do well to remember that 30% of their voters voted leave.

The way the other parties are carrying on there are going to be a lot of first time Tory voters pinching themselves in the polling booths come the next election.
I've voted Labour most of my life though I've occasionally swayed to the Lib Dems. Right now I'd vote Tory as they are the only party I'd trust to see it through.

Theresa May should call an election right now, it'd be a landslide.

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