Fewer EU staff joining Blackpool Victoria following Brexit referendum

Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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Fewer EU nationals are joining the workforce at Blackpool Victoria Hospital than before the Brexit referendum, and more are leaving.

The statistics come as healthcare workers’ union Unison warns the loss of EU employees would leave the NHS ‘near collapse’.

Between December 2014 and November 2015, the equivalent of 111 EU citizens started full-time jobs at the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Digital data shows.

But in 2017-18, after the UK voted to leave the EU, the trust hired just 36 EU citizens - a fall of 68 percent.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust is also losing more EU employees - 38 staff left their jobs over the 12 month period, compared to 21 three years before.

While the number of EU nationals joining the staff of the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is falling, the figure for UK workers has remained fairly level.

Between December 2017 and November 2018, 611 full-time UK employees joined the trust, compared with 619 in 2014-15.

Sara Gorton, head of health at Unison, said: “Departing EU nationals mean serious problems for the NHS. Brexit is making it harder for hospitals to recruit, and causing workers to question staying here.

“Without the many health employees from across Europe, the NHS would be in a state of near collapse, and their skills and expertise have helped limit the effects of the huge staffing gaps.

“Further staff losses would mean even more stress for an already overstretched workforce, and would have a devastating impact on patient care.”

Across England, fewer EU nationals are joining the NHS and more are leaving than before the referendum.

The number of EU citizens starting full-time jobs has fallen by 26 percent, from 14,500 in 2014-15 to 10,800 in 2017-18, while the number leaving work has risen from 6,700 to 9,600.

However 109,000 full-time UK workers joined the NHS in 2017-18, compared with 103,000 three years earlier.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it was encouraging NHS workers from the EU to apply for settled status.