UK runs risk of losing overseas nurses to US

The biggest ever survey of overseas nurses working in London has revealed that many are thinking of leaving the UK.

More than four out of every 10 overseas nurses working in the capital said they are considering leaving the health service to take up posts in other countries.

The survey, published by the King’s Fund and the Royal College of Nursing, shows that two-thirds of Filipino nurses working in London – one of the largest groups of overseas nursing staff – are considering leaving the UK to work in the US.

Report author James Buchan said: “The NHS and independent healthcare sectors rely heavily on overseas nurses to deliver healthcare – without them, parts of the health service would collapse. They perform a crucial and valuable role, but our survey shows the NHS is playing a high-risk game by relying on these overseas staff to commit long-term to the NHS.

“Many of these nurses are considering leaving the NHS and that would pose real problems. It’s clear the NHS needs to up its efforts to grow its own workforce to ensure we have the right number of nurses for the future. The good news is that many of these nurses also signal that they could stay on if their UK employer treats them well.”

Almost 400 nurses took part in the survey from more than 30 different countries.

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