‘per­fect storm’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News -

Nurs­ing lead­ers say hos­pi­tals are fac­ing a per­fect storm over staff short­ages, with Brexit be­ing a key fac­tor.

Pa­tri­cia Mar­quis, Royal Col­lege of Nurs­ing re­gional direc­tor with re­spon­si­bil­ity for Kent, said a com­bi­na­tion of is­sues was mak­ing re­cruit­ment in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult.

She said in the im­me­di­ate pe­riod af­ter the ref­er­en­dum, many nurses from over­seas had suf­fered abuse and been made to feel un­wel­come.

“That was re­ally prob­lem­atic for a while. What has con­tin­ued is the un­cer­tainty about what Brexit will bring.

“Nurs­ing is in de­mand world­wide, so the op­por­tu­nity for staff to go back to their own coun­tries or other coun­tries is there, and peo­ple are be­gin­ning to ex­plore those op­tions.”

She said the in­tro­duc­tion of English tests was also de­ter­ring would-be ap­pli­cants as was the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to end bur­saries for those train­ing to be­come nurses at univer­sity.

“There has been a to­tal lack of fore­sight in the train­ing of peo­ple. There is a mas­sive prob­lem in re­cruit­ment in the UK be­cause a de­ci­sion was made that we needed fewer nurses now than we ac­tu­ally do.”

“So we have a per­fect storm brew­ing. We al­ready have 40,000 va­can­cies.”

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