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Increasing number of nurses and midwives leaving profession

2nd November 2017

Increasing number of nurses and midwives leaving profession ‘highlights major challenges faced by health and care sectors'

New figures published today by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) show that there continues to be an increase in the number of nurses and midwives leaving its register over the last 12 months.

In July, the NMC released figures which showed that for the first time there were more nurses and midwives leaving the register than joining it. Today's figures show that trend is continuing. Over the last 12 months the number of UK graduates leaving the profession has increased by nine percent, as shown in the table below.

The number of nurses and midwives from Europe leaving the register has also increased by 67 percent, while the number joining the register from the EU has dropped dramatically from 10,178 last year to 1,107 this year, a decrease of 89 percent.

UK October 2015 to September 2016 - 26,653

UK October 2016 to September 2017 -29,019

Europe October 2015 to September 2016 - 2,435

Europe October 2016 to September 2017 - 4067,

Rest of the world October 2015 to September 2016 - 2,090

Rest of the world October 2016 to September 2017 - 2,277

Totals

October 2015 to September 2016 - 31,178

October 2016 to September 2017 - 35,363



While the number of nurses and midwives leaving the register from the UK continues to rise, indications are that the number joining remains static when compared with the previous 12 month period.

Jackie Smith, Chief Executive and Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, said:

"It's worrying that we are seeing a continuing rise in nurses and midwives leaving the register and our data is clear that this is being driven by both UK and EU registrants.

"These figures continue to highlight the major challenges faced by the UK's health and care sectors around the recruitment and retention of staff. Nurses and midwives work incredibly hard in very difficult circumstances. Those responsible for workforce matters will no doubt respond to what these trends are showing."

Nursing and Midwifery council web site - www.nmc.org.uk

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