As reported by OnTheWight this morning, according to data from NHS Digital that has been collated by Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), almost 20% of doctors within Isle of Wight NHS Trust are EU nationals.
If the future involvement of one fifth of key staff were uncertain, any organisation would make plans to try to ensure that it could try to provide a quality service without some of all of them.
IW NHS Trust’s plans
OnTheWight posed a series of questions to the Isle of Wight NHS Trust surrounding the data from NHS Digital.
Below are the responses they provided without comment from OnTheWight.
Q1. What has been put in place to mitigate the vulnerability of EU national Doctors leaving the Trust after the Brexit vote?
A1. The Trust has an active recruitment strategy, is encouraging EU staff to stay and has sought to reassure current EU staff of the Trusts and wider NHS support for them.
Q2. How long have you been actively planning to mitigate this risk?
A2. The Trust regularly reviews the advice provided by NHS Employers (www.nhsemployers.org), the employers’ organisation for the NHS in England. The Trust is also a member of NHS Providers, the organisation which represents the majority of NHS service providers. NHS Providers has been representing the interests of the NHS to government and a variety of key organisations. More information about NHS Providers and their briefings on Brexit can be found at www.nhsproviders.org. Further commentary can also be found on the websites of the NHS Confederation, the King’s Fund, the Health Foundation and the Nuffield Trust.
Q3. What active steps have already been taken?
A3. The impact of Brexit on the healthcare sector is far from clear at this stage and no directs steps other than providing reassurance have been needed so far.
Q4. What active steps are planned from now on?
A4. We are arranging an information session, facilitated by an independent subject matter expert, for staff from the EU to show further support and to ensure that they have access to information to make individual decisions about their options.
Q5. What percentage of consultants are EU nationals?
A5. This information is not immediately available.
Q6. How many EU nationals have left since Jan 2018 i) All staff; ii) Frontline; iii) HCHS Doctors; iv) Nurses & health visitors; v) Midwives
A6. The Trust has seen one Consultant leave in the last year where Brexit was thought to be an underlying reason. The wider health care system is thought to have lost two GPs.
Q7. Please break down the 19.7% of HCHS Doctors working at IW NHS Trust (at Jan 2018) are EU nationals into their departments.
A7. This information is not immediately available.
Q8. What is the threshold %age of EU national staff IW NHS Trust would be concerned about in i) All staff; ii) Frontline; iii) HCHS Doctors; iv) Nurses & health visitors; v) Midwives ?
A8. There is no threshold for staff from the EU; each service does however have an agreed level of staffing required to meet standards set up regulatory (e.g. CQC, professional bodies, GMC, etc.) and commissioning bodies (e.g. NHS England, NHS Isle of Wight CCG). Some services are more dependent on EU nationals than others.
Q9. How many EU nationals joined and left the IW NHS Trust between June 2014 – June 2016? Same for between June 2016 – June 2018?
A9. This information is not immediately available.
Q10. NHS Digital report 3,078 total staff, 1,085 of which are frontline staff. What roles do the other ~2k staff hold?
A10. Our Annual Report provides information as at 31/3/18 as follows:
The Isle of Wight NHS Trust employed an average of 3,016 (2,950) staff and at the 31 March 2018, the equivalent of 2,723 (2,675) full-time staff were employed. The overall structure of the workforce is summarised in the charts below.
During the course of the year the average staff numbers and full time employed were:
Full time Other Total Medical and dental 212 59 271 Ambulance staff 104 0 104 Administration and estates 646 26 672 Healthcare assistants and other support staff 597 105 702 Nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff 767 146 903 Scientific, therapeutic and technical staff 353 9 362
NB: These figures include bank and agency staff
“Further work would be required to establish why there is a difference between the figures reported by NHS Digital and those reported in our Annual Report.”
As highlighted in our first report, the NHS Digital data is based on figures at January 2018 and is based only on frontline staff, not including agency workers.
Whereas the figures from the IW NHS include agency staff and are at 31 March 2018.
Image: © Used with the kind permission of Auntie P