Responding to analysis of new data by the Nuffield Trust which shows that people born outside the UK account for almost a quarter of all staff working in hospitals and a fifth of all health and social care staff in the UK, Dr Chaand Nagpaul BMA council chair said:
“The NHS is nothing without the people who work in it, and it’s clear from this analysis how much our health service relies on staff from abroad – put simply, we wouldn’t be able to function without them.
“The BMA has long been concerned about the potential fallout from Brexit, but it poses a particular risk to an already dwindling NHS workforce and could see talented, experienced healthcare professionals decide to leave the UK.
“In fact, our own survey of European Economic Area doctors working in the UK revealed that almost half are considering leaving following the EU referendum result, with almost one in five having already made plans to relocate elsewhere.
“There are few credible and detailed plans about how we will continue to recruit from abroad and ensure we have a sustainable workforce after Brexit, and it this – showcasing our health service as a welcoming place to work – that urgently needs to be addressed if we ever stand of a chance of solving the NHS and social care crisis.”