The outcome of the European Union referendum has prompted the chief nursing officer for England to issue a statement telling overseas nurses they are “valued and hugely appreciated”.
The statement from Jane Cummings is a clear attempt to reassure the thousands of nurses from EU counties who work in the NHS and wider care sector, and who trusts have actively recruited in light of the country’s current shortage of nursing staff.
“You are appreciated by me and, most of all, by those we care for”
Ms Cummings said: “The outcome of the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union has, understandably, raised a number of questions about what this will mean for people from the EU currently employed in Britain.
“I wanted to take this opportunity to confirm to all EU nurses, midwives and care assistants working in England’s health and care system that you are valued and hugely appreciated, you are an integral and vital part of the health and care family, and your skills and compassionate care directly benefits patients, families and communities,” she said.
“Your vital contribution to our work together will continue; you are appreciated by me and, most of all, by those we care for,” she added.
The statement was distributed via the social media Twitter on Saturday using the hashtag #LoveOurEUStaff, which has been used by NHS leaders in recent days to send positive messages in support of their staff from overseas.
It follows a call made by NHS England’s medical director Sir Bruce Keogh to health service leaders on Friday, in which he urged them to send a message to European staff working in the health service that they are valued and welcome in the wake of the vote for the UK to leave the EU.
The Royal College of Nursing said in a statement: “The health service across the UK depends on the contribution of nurses from the European Union.
“It’s important they continue to feel valued as we enter this period of uncertainty, and the RCN will continue to offer them support as important members of the nursing team,” it said.