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Figures reveal exodus of EU NHS staff in East Sussex

December 2, 2019 7:44 AM
By Liberal Democrats

Em Jones

Brexit is making the staffing crisis at East Sussex Healthcare Trust even worse, the Liberal Democrats have warned.

Figures published by the Liberal Democrats reveal that 84 EU staff working at East Sussex Healthcare Trust have already left the health service this year, including 27 nurses and midwives.

In the three years since the Brexit vote, 460 NHS staff from the EU have left the local trust.

Staff departures from East Sussex Healthcare Trust are part of a worrying national trend: over 3,250 NHS staff from the EU have left the health service so far this year, including 1,116 nurses. The data, based on responses to Freedom of Information requests across 50 NHS hospital trusts, reveals that:
The Liberal Democrats have warned that shortages of NHS staff will get even worse under Conservative plans that would see EU nationals charged a "nurse tax" worth thousands of pounds to come and work for the NHS. Nurses and other health professionals from the EU do not currently pay any fees to come and work for the NHS.

However, under Conservative proposals, visa fees and the NHS surcharge would be extended to EU workers, meaning an EU nurse would have to pay £1,089 to work in the NHS for the first year and £3,589 for five years.

Former Hollington GP and the Liberal Democrat campaigner for Wishing Tree, Dr Emlyn Jones (photo)said:

"These shocking figures reveal the damage Brexit has already done to the NHS in East Sussex and it's set to get worse under the Tories.

"The Conservatives' obsession with Brexit has already cost our NHS dearly. Now the Tories want to clobber hardworking NHS staff with a nurse tax that will cost them thousands to come and work in the NHS. It's no wonder that NHS staff from the EU in East Sussex are leaving their posts. Unfortunately, it's patient care that will suffer as a result."

Parliamentary candidate Nick Perry added:
"Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit to protect our NHS. We will make clear to staff from the EU that they are valued, tackle the staffing crisis, and invest an extra £35 billion in health and social care."

Photo of Dr Jones.

Notes to Editors

Figures on NHS staff from the EU leaving the health service were obtained through Freedom of Information requests submitted by the Liberal Democrats. Data was provided by 50 out of 135 NHS Hospital Trusts in England: Nurse tax Liberal Democrat plans on the NHS

The Liberal Democrats have set out a comprehensive plan to protect NHS by: