Boris Johnson pledged to hire an extra 50,000 NHS nurses during his campaign election last year, however, this seems less hopeful now that the number of nurses arriving from the EU has once again fallen and the Covid-19 crisis prevented more arrivals.
THE prime minister has since stuck to his promise to deliver the additional nurses, but the number of EU nurses and midwives, able to work in the UK, has been falling for the last three years, according to data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Last year, only 913 people from the European Economic Area (EEA) joined the NMC register, compared to the 9,389 in 2015-16. Although there is a record number of people on the register in total – 716,607, thanks to joiners from the rest of the world such as India and the Philippines.
However, travel restrictions due to coronavirus will have a huge effect on the arrival of overseas nurses and midwives and it may not be possible to sustain the recent growth.
But the prime minister admitted that 19,000 of the pledged 50,000 would result from better retaining current NHS employees, as many who leave the register do so due to the impact on their mental health, stress, and overwork.