Beyond Brexit: Assessing key risks to the nursing workforce in England

Marangozov R, Williams M, Bevan S | IES Paper  | Institute for Employment Studies | Dec 2016

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This paper offers new analysis on how two key factors - Brexit and population growth - could impact the NHS. For the first time, this paper brings together analysis at the national and trust level to map the regions and NHS trusts in England most vulnerable to the associated risks of Brexit and population growth.

The findings in this paper reveal the NHS trusts most 'at risk' from these demographic changes. These findings are derived from an analysis focused on two projected future trends: reduced supply of EU nurses following Brexit; and population growth-related demand for health services.

The analysis presented in this paper is intended to be a starting point for discussion within the NHS, in the light of the Brexit vote, rather than as the 'final word' on the subject. The paper indicates where and to what extent Brexit could squeeze the supply of EU nurses in the NHS in England, and a growing population of those aged 85 and over will increase healthcase demands on an already pressurised NHS.

The analysis in the paper finds that Brexit-induced uncertainty places real pressure on the NHS workforce planners to examine and to 'model' a number of nurse workforce supply and demand scenarios.