“This isn’t a Brexit scare story. If we don’t do something soon, the gap is going to get too big to fill.” Barry Pactor, Managing Director of TTM Healthcare speaking on Channel 4’s Dispatches programme.
In Brexit: Crisis on the Wards, Dispatches, Channel 4’s award-winning current affairs programme, has turned its investigative sights on the NHS’ staffing struggles and on how leaving the EU could be about to make things infinitely worse.
With 24,000 nursing vacancies across the UK, our health system has become increasingly reliant on European health workers in recent years. Dispatches revealed a 90% fall in European nurses registering to work in the UK after last June’s vote and, of the EU workers at 271 trusts surveyed by the programme, a worrying 42% are considering leaving in the next 5 years.
A litany of challenges
The dramatic statistics revealed by Dispatches may have shocked many but they confirmed the reality that TTM Healthcare’s international recruitment teams have been grappling with daily. Working in an increasingly challenging climate, we remain convinced that the impact of Brexit is proving this detrimental because, as set out in How the UK is losing the race for healthcare skills , it follows a litany of changes in regulation for overseas workers, impossibly high English language requirements and mounting global competition.
Desperate for change
In conversation with Dispatches’ presenter Morland Sanders, Barry Pactor stressed the need for change. “Companies like TTM Healthcare, together with the NHS, with the help of government need to make it clear to overseas nurses that the UK is open for business. Because, at the moment, the noises we are making as a country are turning away staff that we desperately need.”
Missed it first time?
You can watch Brexit: Crisis on the Wards on the Channel 4 Play Back facility here. The episode will be available to view until 5 April 2017.