Layla Moran has expressed concern about the impact of Brexit on the county’s NHS after it was revealed today that 21% of nurses and health visitors at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust are from the EU.
An analysis of NHS Digital data released today has shown the impending staffing crisis which could be facing the local health service due to Brexit.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalists have today released their analysis of NHS Digital data from January this year.
Their investigation showed certain trusts and specialist hospitals are heavily dependent on EU nationals, specifically for their frontline staff – including in Oxford.
The Bureau’s data analysis shows that across the whole of NHS England only 5% of all staff are EU nationals, but at eight NHS trusts they make up more than 20% of doctors or nurses.
This includes Oxford University Hospitals with 21% of nurses and health visitors being EU citizens.
Responding to a Freedom of Information request this summer, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust told Layla Moran that they had “not completed an official risk assessment on the impact of Brexit on the operations of the Trust”, but that they were taking actions “to counteract the talent void and the high turnover” it has caused.
The Trust said it was using overseas recruitment agencies in “hard to fill specialities and grades such as Accident and Emergency Specialty Doctors” which they said was “an expensive way to recruit but essential to ensure the departments have minimum staffing”.
It also said that “Brexit also had an impact on the number of nursing and midwifery staff remaining in the UK, which has led to a higher than normal turnover in this area” sparking fears that leaving the EU may have contributed to shortages which led to the suspension of some midwifery services across the county last month.
Figures provided to Ms Moran also revealed that 556 members of staff from the European Economic Area left the Trust in the 18 months to June 2018
Commenting, Layla said:
“Far from delivering the £350 million a week that we were falsely promised during the referendum, Brexit is having an impact on staff recruitment and retention in our health care system.
“Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust singles out nursing and midwifery as an area that has been particularly badly impacted by Brexit - and just a few weeks ago we saw how staff shortages are leading to the suspension of midwifery services in the county.
“The Prime Minister must get a grip of the situation, avoid a disastrous no-deal Brexit that would lead to the stockpiling of drugs and medical supplies and make sure that there is nation-wide planning to help the NHS plan for and cope with the impacts of Brexit.
“I am also renewing my calls for the people to be given a say on the final Brexit deal once we know all the facts, so that the country can choose whether to accept the chaos and uncertainty caused by Brexit or whether they want to remain in the EU.”