The 202 nationalities working in the NHS.

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It’s well-known that the NHS is reliant on foreign staff.

And a new infographic, released by a Parliament research group, reveals exactly where the workers in the health service are from.

The House of Commons Library picture shows there are 976,288 British staff working in the NHS – the equivalent of 87.5 per cent.

In contrast, 137,000 doctors, nurses and infrastructure staff are nationals of other countries, including just under 62,000 EU nationals – around 5.6 per cent. 

Fears of an NHS staffing crisis have loomed since the historic Brexit vote in June 2016, as the numbers of EU nurses registering to work in the UK plunged.

But the new report states that the number of ‘EU staff has changed little since the referendum’.

The figures, which are derived from NHS Digital data, also show a breakdown of the 202 nationalities there are working in the health service.

And they come after US President Donald Trump last week sparked a diplomatic row with Britain after branding the NHS ‘broke and not working’.

Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt immediately hit back, saying no-one wants to live in a US-style system where millions have no healthcare cover. 

The House of Commons Library picture shows there are 976,288 British staff working in the NHS - the equivalent of 87.5 per cent

The new report shows two African countries, Zimbabwe (3,899) and Nigeria (5,405), were named in the top 10 – more than the 2,040 English-speaking Australians.   

Other than Brits, the second-most popular nationality that is working in the NHS is Indian, with 18,348 staff coming from the vast country.

The Philippines pipped Ireland into third place, with 15,391 staff compared to the 13,016 that come from the Emerald Isle.

But the statistics also show there are more workers in the NHS from Sierra Leone than there are from Finland, Austria and Belgium.

Some 503 people from the country on the west coast of Africa work under the NHS, compared to 380 Finns, 359 Belgians and 334 Austrians.

Three other African nations reported a greater number of staff working in the health service than the three European countries that are all within a three-hour air journey.

There are 489 workers from Uganda, 469 from Sudan and 465 from Zambia.

The data also showed there were fewer Swiss workers, 157, than those from Somalia (253), Cameroon (260), Mauritius (235), Gambia (213) and Malawi (202).

Syria, the Middle-Eastern country rocked by a civil war, came in at 72nd on the list of most popular nations working in the health service, with 148. 

While there are also 289 Iraqis and 144 staff from Afghanistan in the NHS, according to the Commons report released yesterday. 

The report also revealed the amount of foreign staff working in the NHS varies in different parts of the country.

In London, 12 per cent of staff in the NHS are nationals of other EU countries – but in the North East the proportion is as low as two per cent.

In London, 12 per cent of staff in the NHS are nationals of other EU countries - but in the North East the proportion is as low as two per cent

There are 44 trusts where less than two per cent of staff are nationals of other EU countries, with 32 being in the north of England

However, there are 37 NHS trusts where over 10 per cent of staff are estimated to be nationals of other European countries, with the majority in the South East or London

There are 37 NHS trusts where over 10 per cent of staff are estimated to be nationals of other European countries, with the majority in the South East or London. 

However, there are 44 trusts where less than two per cent of staff are nationals of other EU countries, with 32 being in the north of England. 

There are 19 NHS trusts where more than a quarter of staff report a non-British nationality, according to the figures.

A further analysis showed 10 per cent of doctors and seven per cent of nurses are nationals of a country in the EU.

While 12 per cent of doctors and six per cent of nurses are of Asian descent.

This is despite fears that foreign doctors are unable to communicate fluently with patients and more likely to investigated for incompetence. 

Reliant on foreign doctors, the NHS has actively targeted them to help plug a staffing shortage that has left it in a crisis. 

More than 40 per cent of doctors in some areas of England trained abroad, a General Medical Council report showed in December. 

The most common countries of origin have historically been India, Pakistan and South Africa but they are increasingly arriving from Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy.

Almost 6,000 foreign doctors were hired in 2016, despite the ongoing concerns of language barriers. Another 5,000 doctors are needed to plug the staffing shortage, and NHS bosses are looking overseas to meet its targets.

It was revealed by Pulse magazine last week that NHS England may have missed its target to recruit 600 GPs from overseas by the end of this financial year.

A further analysis showed seven per cent of nurses are nationals of a country in the EU

Some 10 per cent of doctors are from an EU nation, while 12 per cent are from an Asian country

But the majority (92 per cent) of infrastructure staff are British

And the recruitment crisis for nurses has led to officials allowing foreign nurses to sit easier English language tests.

Failure rates were so high that rules issued by the Nursing and Midwifery Council came into place in November to change it.

The announcement followed warnings that the current exams are so strict they have led to a huge drop in the number of foreign nurses coming to the UK.

A scathing analysis last month revealed a greater number of nurses and midwives are now leaving the health service than joining.

More than 33,000 walked away from nursing last year in England – about 10 per cent of the entire workforce. Around half were under the age of 40.  

 

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