King’s Lynn hospital ‘at risk’ from Brexit impact, report warns

GV of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn ENGANL00120140502173025

GV of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn ENGANL00120140502173025

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Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital is among the trusts most at risk from pressures caused by Brexit and the needs of a growing elderly population, a new report has claimed.

Research by the Institute for Employment Studies has named the trust among the 20 it says are most vulnerable to the trends.

But the trust says its efforts to recruit more local and British staff are already helping to address the issue.

The institue’s report said the proportion of QEH nurses from the European Economic Area, which includes all EU member states plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, had soared from 1.3 per cent in 2009 to 18.4 per cent in 2015.

It also suggests the number of people aged 85 and over in its coverage area is likely to increase by more than a third over the next decade.

Although its population growth is lower than other hospitals, the institute said the QEH had a particularly high number of EEA staff.

It added: “Population growth-related demand for health services, driven by a projected increase in the population aged 85 and over, will disproportionately increase the demands placed on the NHS in some of the trusts that are most likely to experience nurse shortages.”

QEH director of nursing Catherine Morgan said: “We have a continuous rolling programme of local, national and international nurse recruitment to ensure we maintain the staffing levels necessary to be able to provide excellent standards of care to our patients.

“We are also looking to Grow Our Own future workforce by working with the local college to promote healthcare as a career along with developing new roles to suit future needs.

“The shortage of nurses across the UK is well documented and our recruitment campaigns which focus on both the positive culture of the hospital and the advantages of living in Norfolk have already yielded results.

“This is just one aspect of this strategy.”