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Liberal Democrats call for ‘NHS Passport’ for the 59,000 EU Citizens who work in our NHS

by burylibdems on 20 March, 2017

The Liberal Democrats have called for an “NHS Passport” to secure the rights of the 59,000 EU citizens working in the NHS, as figures have revealed a sharp rise in nurses from the EU quitting the health service.

Over 2,700 EU nurses left the NHS in 2016, a 68% increase compared to two years ago. Separate figures from the Royal College of Nursing have shown the number of EU nationals registering as nurses in England has dropped by 92%, while there are 24,000 nurse jobs unfilled in the NHS.

Figures obtained by the Lib Dems show that 1,849 EU national left our local NHS Trust, Pennine Acute, in 2014, 2015, and 2016, including 558 nurses – one of the highest figures in the country.

The Liberal Democrats have called for an immediate guaranteed right to live and work in the UK for all EU citizens working in NHS and care services, in a motion passed by members at the party’s Spring Conference in York today. The motion also called for the urgent reinstatement of the nursing bursary to address the huge shortage of nurses in the NHS.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb commented:

“These shocking figures show you can’t have a hard Brexit and a strong NHS.

“It is vital that we reassure NHS staff and social care workers from the EU that they remain welcome and valued in the UK following Brexit.

“These people save lives, yet this Conservative government is treating them with careless disregard.

“NHS and care services would struggle to cope if significant numbers of doctors, nurses and NHS staff from the EU left.

“Theresa May must do the decent thing and ensure the right to remain for all EU citizens, with an immediate guarantee for those working in health and social care.

   1 Comment

One Response

  1. Peter Cope says:

    I believe that anyone who is in the UK legally and paying tax should have a card bearing their National Insurance number and be entitled to NHS services and treatment.

    I believe there is at least one EU country where ALL citizens carry a card of this type. When they go for treatment anywhere they have to produce that card. If they don’t have one they have to produce a bank or credit card to pay for whatever service they require.

    This is fair and could be easily implemented.

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