Eighty new Filipino nurses to join QEH staff
Dozens of new nurses from the Philippines are to begin work at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital over the coming months, bosses say.
The announcement, made yesterday, comes amid fears Brexit means fewer EU nationals are joining the staff and more are leaving, though managers dispute the extent of that trend.
Hospital chief executive Caroline Shaw said retaining existing workers and recruiting new staff were key priorities for the trust.
She said: “I am pleased to announce that we will be welcoming 80 new nurses later in the year following a recent successful recruitment campaign in the Philippines.
“We are also running recruitment campaigns, which is helping to bring in additional nursing staff.
“We are developing plans to further support and retain our staff.”
No firm timescales have been given for when the new nurses will begin work.
But the announcement followed reports on Friday which suggested the hospital has been badly hit by a slowdown in recruitment from the European Union following the 2016 referendum.
NHS Digital data suggested that the proportion of EU nationals among new recruits had dropped from 27 per cent in 2015 to just nine per cent in the year to November 2018.
The figures also claim that nearly twice as many EU nationals left the trust last year than in 2015.
But the hospital has released its own data suggesting the rate of departures of EU staff has remained broadly stable over the Brexit period.
It says 58 EU staff left in 2018, compared to 52 in 2015, and claims its evidence suggests some workers have chosen to stay in the UK and take up roles at other NHS organisations.
The trust also says EU recruitment was around 21.5 per cent in 2014-15 and 8.6 per cent in 2017-18.
The comments were made as the political uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the EU shows no sign of being brought to an end.
MPs rejected the government’s withdrawal agreement for a third time on Friday, meaning the government has until the end of next week to draw up new proposals.
North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said he was “sad” at the result and called for renewed efforts to secure additional assurances over the Irish backstop.
He said: “The alternative is either no deal or a very long extension with UK participation in the EU elections.”
But Labour MEP Alex Mayer said the deal should now be scrapped and a new referendum held.
She said: “In a half-baked scheme the PM put half of her deal to the vote. It’s hardly a surprise MPs rejected it again.”
Further indicative votes were due to take place yesterday on alternatives to the deal after a similar series of votes failed to yield a majority for any other option last week.