Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nhs Pays Nurses to Stay after Brexit; TAXPAYERS WILL FUND NEW VISAS TO KEEP THOUSANDS OF KEY EU HEALTH WORKERS IN UK NHS Move to Prevent Exodus of Nurses

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nhs Pays Nurses to Stay after Brexit; TAXPAYERS WILL FUND NEW VISAS TO KEEP THOUSANDS OF KEY EU HEALTH WORKERS IN UK NHS Move to Prevent Exodus of Nurses

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Lydall Health Editor EXCLUSIVE

NHS hospitals are to pay for new visas for thousands of EU staff in an attempt to keep them in London after Brexit, the Evening Standard can reveal.

University College London Hospitals, St George's Hospitals and Guy's and St Thomas' are among the NHS trusts offering to foot the bill to prevent a feared exodus of foreign doctors, nurses and therapists.

The revelation came as Government insiders claimed the European Union is inching towards a crucial concession, prompting Downing Street to make plans to steamroll a Brexit deal past Cabinet.

More than one in 10 of the capital's health workers are from other European countries and NHS leaders are concerned that the UK's departure from the EU on March 29 next year will worsen dire staff shortages.

Professor Marcel Levi, chief executive of UCLH, one of the country's elite NHS trusts, has written to almost 1,300 staff offering to cover the cost of applying for "settled Continued on Page 2 Continued from Page 1 status". This is likely to cost UCLH, which has nine hospitals in central London, in excess of PS100,000.

Professor Levi, who is from the Netherlands, told staff: "Regardless of Brexit, we want you to stay with us."

Jacqueline Totterdell, chief executive of St George's, in Tooting, is due to send similar letters to its 1,000 EU staff next week. "Our EU staff are all valued members of Team St George's and make an enormous contribution to the services we provide," a spokesman said.

Siobhan Harrington, chief executive of Whittington hospital, in Archway, also offered to cover the cost of staff securing their immigration status to remain in the UK.

She said: "[It's] so important to ensure our European colleagues are supported through any uncertainty. Valuing our staff who do such a great job to care for patients is key to our future NHS. …

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