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Farron demands 'NHS Passport' for EU staff

March 21, 2017 11:28 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron is calling for an 'NHS Passport' to guarantee the rights of hundreds of EU citizens working in the NHS across Cumbria.

Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats reveal that there are almost 400 EU citizens working in the NHS across Cumbria, including 80 doctors and over 100 nurses. The Morecambe Bay Trust alone, which runs hospitals in Kendal, Lancaster and Barrow, employs 180 EU citizens, including 45 doctors and 80 nurses.

Nationally, over 2,700 EU nurses left the NHS in 2016, a 68% increase compared to two years ago. Separate figures from the Royal College of Nursing have shown the number of EU nationals registering as nurses in England has dropped by 92% since July.

In a motion passed by members at the party conference in York this weekend, the Lib Dems have called for an immediate guaranteed right to live and work in the UK for all EU citizens working in NHS and care services.

Tim said: "I am massively grateful to all the hard-working and dedicated staff who work in our local NHS, including hundreds of EU citizens. For the sake of our local NHS and all of us who rely on it, as well as these medical staff and their families, the government must guarantee their right to stay in Britain. These people save lives, yet the government is treating them with careless disregard and keeping them in the dark about their futures. The government must guarantee their futures and in doing so protect our NHS."