Huge drop in nurse numbers
Since the UK opted to leave the European Union in last year's referendum, there has been a huge drop in applications for would be nurses coming to the UK from other EU countries. The worrying revelations reveal that there has been a large drop in those travelling to the UK in order to become nurses. The joint problems of the looming Brexit negotiations and the continuing public pay freeze mean that fewer and fewer nurses are seeing the UK as the destination of choice for starting a new life.
This does though spell potentially good news for nurses from outside the European Union. The UK has an ongoing shortage of qualified doctors and nurses. These new shortages will only increase as EU citizens aren't sure of where they will stand once the UK leaves the zone in 2019.
According to the Health foundation, there is currently a shortage of 30,000 nurses in the UK. This is worrying as the UK's population continues to increase, as does the average age of its inhabitants. This means that the problem will only increase unless there is a serious change of heart by the British government on the future of the NHS. Thus far, there has been no clarity or commitments to future spending on the hiring and training of nurses. Indeed, the NHS overall has had its funding held for many years and has struggled to thrive in the face of needing to make deep and lasting cuts to services.
The British government now needs to open up specialised programmes to bring in foreign nurses to bolster the beleaguered health service. Traditionally the NHS has relied heavily on nurses from the Caribbean and Asia, this needs to now become a formalised programme. Before the quality of health care in Britain, national health service diminishes beyond all repair. But with an unresponsive Health Secretary in Jeremy Hunt, all efforts to improve funding have so far been ignored.
Though, there is one silver lining potentially on the horizon. Currently, the polls have Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party in the lead, and this would only be good for the NHS. Their policies are heavily in favour of large investment into the NHS and an end to the current pay freeze. These policies alone will help to turn the current course of the NHS's long decline. Though many will opine that it is no accident. Many feel that the Conservatives have many close ties with private health firms and that the current system is intended to strip the NHS bare before transferring to the running of private healthcare firms. There does seem to be some legitimacy to these claims. The NHS spend in the private sector increases yearly, with many operations now being carried out by the private sector. Many will now feel that the only way forward is a Labour government coming to power and overturning the under spending and increase staffing numbers.
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