Scotland and Wales NHS in bid to reassure EU nurses

EU nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants are still important and valued, say NHS Scotland and Wales

The NHS in Scotland and Wales has reassured European Union nurses that they are still welcome despite last week's Brexit vote.

NHS in Scotland and Wales has reassured EU nurses that they are still welcome

The move comes after England's chief nursing officer Jane Cummings issued a message to nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants following the vote to leave the EU in last week's referendum. 

It is not yet known how the result will affect the freedom of movement of workers between member states, or how professional qualifications will be recognised in future.

'Important and valued'

NHS Education for Scotland insisted EU nurses among Scotland’s 59,000 strong nursing workforce were ‘important and valued’.

‘Scotland has a proud heritage of world-class medical education and training, and we welcome the contribution played by staff from across Europe and beyond,' a spokesperson said.

‘Over the coming period, our priority is to work closely with the Scottish government and our stakeholders to ensure that NHS Scotland continues to recruit and train the right numbers of staff to deliver quality healthcare.’

'Opportunties and challenges'

Meanwhile, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation Vanessa Young insisted the uncertainty following the referendum will ‘bring both opportunities and challenges’.

She added: ‘The NHS in Wales, like the rest of the UK's health systems, has broadly benefited from being in the EU and, at a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges around managing demand and the retention and recruitment of the workforce, this uncertainty is unlikely to help in our work to address some of these.

‘While it is impossible to predict the full impact at this stage, we know that this decision could affect recruitment and economic stability.


‘It is important that we value the contributions made by staff from the EU who work in the health service and they must be made to feel welcome.’

More than 60% of voters in Scotland had voted to remain in the EU, while the majority of people in Wales backed leaving.

Further information

Jane Cummings statement on EU nurses

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