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Sunday, July 30, 2017
Dr Julia Reid MEP On The NHS.
UKIP’s Health Spokesman: With more 86,000 vacant NHS posts in the first
quarter of this year, it’s about time we stopped taking our NHS staff for
Published Jul 27, 2017
According to figures released by NHS Digital, more than 86,000 NHS posts
were vacant in the first quarter of this year, which is an increase of almost
8,000 when compared to the same period last year.
UKIP’s Health Spokesman, Dr Julia Reid MEP, described the figures as
“deeply concerning” but was quick to shut down those seeking to blame Brexit for
the rise in vacant NHS posts.
Reid, who has had an extensive career working as a research biochemist in the
NHS, said: “Whilst the latest statistics highlight the fact that we have a
genuine issue with recruitment and retention within the NHS at the moment, it is
completely disingenuous to blame the problem on Brexit.
of the main reasons that the NHS is struggling to recruit enough front line NHS
workers, such as nurses and midwives, is because we’re not training enough to
begin with. Currently, we turn away tens of thousands of potential students due
to the limited number of training placements available. We should increase the
number of placements immediately as it's obvious we're not training sufficient
numbers to meet the needs of the NHS.
“However, to do this, we need to ensure that we have enough bright and
promising students willing to train for a career in the NHS. Unfortunately, the
number of applications for courses, such as nursing and midwifery, have
plummeted since the Government scrapped the bursary scheme (which originally
covered tuition and hospital accommodation costs). As a result of this, we’re
now going to miss out on thousands of potential nurses, and allied health
professionals, who will have been deterred from applying due to the enormous
financial burden involved in training now.
“As for staff retention, we’re now seeing more midwives and nurses
leaving the profession in the UK than joining it. Increasingly, this is due to
nurses, and other health care professionals, being overworked
and underappreciated so they swell the ranks of agency staff. The Government’s
refusal to scrap the 1% public sector pay cap has meant frontline NHS workers
are now earning significantly less than they were five years ago due to the high
levels of inflation. Lack of resources, staff shortages and increased work load
effectively means that our health professionals are now expected to work even
harder for less money. It’s no surprise that the NHS is haemorrhaging nurses and
other health professionals and, with the current state of affairs, working for
the NHS is becoming an increasingly less attractive option for young students
considering their future careers.
“Despite these problems, we’re still fortunate enough to have plenty of
experienced nurses and health professionals from countries such as Australia and
New Zealand who want to come to work in our hospitals. They already speak our
language, so employing people from countries such as these should be less
complicated, right? So why does the NHS make it so difficult for them to come
and work here? The current process of registering as a nurse in the NHS can
take up to a year and cost over £3,000. Furthermore, all applicants, regardless
of their first language, are required to pass an English test, one that is often
described by the applicants as ‘unnecessary’ and ‘difficult’. Such red tape only
adds to the difficulty in filling the ever-increasing number of open NHS
it’s true that overseas doctors and other health care professionals have, for a
long time, provided a valuable contribution to the NHS, we shouldn’t take their
willingness to work here for granted. If the Government continues in failing to
address the issues contributing to poor recruitment and retention of health
professionals in the UK, the NHS may soon find itself struggling to recruit and
retain staff from overseas as well.”