NINGBO, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new report has found that since the EU referendum in 2016 overseas nurses in the UK are experiencing higher levels of discrimination and are more likely to consider leaving the National Health Service (NHS).
This is one of the main findings of a report written by University of Nottingham academics, Dr Joy Spiliopoulos and Professor Stephen Timmons, who conducted in-depth interviews with both EU and non-EU nursing staff. Their report focuses on the problems confronting migrant nurses during the ongoing Brexit negotiations and makes policy recommendations.
One of the most frequent complaints was the increase in racist incidents, since Brexit, from colleagues in the NHS and their local communities. The nurses said they felt supported by hospital senior staff with appropriate regulations in place. However, there were differences in practice between NHS Trusts and hospital wards.
“The referendum result has been interpreted, by the EU and non-EU NHS nurses interviewed, as a signal that migrants are not welcome in the UK and they were considering migrating elsewhere,” said Dr Joy Spiliopoulos from the School of International Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China.
“Our findings have serious implications for patient care. There is already a shortage of nurses with an estimated 36,000 nursing vacancies.”
Limited career opportunities and bias, from senior staff and management towards promotion, was another obstacle faced by non-British nurses. Delays in recognising their overseas qualifications or experience and inconsistencies between NHS Trusts, in the length of contracts and benefits offered to non-British nurses, were also cited as reasons not to stay.
Drawing upon their findings, the report has made a number of recommendations to support the NHS in keeping migrant nurses and recruiting more to make up for the shortfall.
The findings were discussed by Dr Spiliopoulos at the European Sociological Association conference on 21 August.
Dr Joy Spiliopoulos is currently visiting the Centre for Health Innovation, Leadership and Learning at the University of Nottingham.
For more information about the report visit here.