The latest figures on NHS vacancies reveal that there was 3,262 vacancies for nurses in the NHS in the South West in July to September 2019. This means that 10.5% of posts were unfilled, showing the NHS staff shortage crisis continues to get worse.

What is true is the Conservatives' manifesto commitment to introduce a nurse tax for EU workers

The Conservatives have presided over a staffing crisis in our health service, failing to adequately ensure the NHS has the workforce it needs to care for our loved ones.

Records broken in new nurse vacancy data for England | News | Royal College of Nursing
Members report being unable to provide the care they want to as one in eight nurse jobs is unfilled.

Even worse, Boris Johnson's pledge for 50,000 new nurses isn't even true. What is true is the Conservatives' manifesto commitment to introduce a nurse tax for EU workers.

Over 11,600 NHS staff from the EU have left the health service in the three years since the Brexit vote, including 4,783 nurses. The Conservatives are only going to discourage more nurses from coming to work in the UK with their manifesto pledges.

Following the release of the statistics, Liberal Democrat candidate for Torridge and West Devon, David Chalmers said:

"These figures reveal just how desperately short of nurses our NHS is. For years the Conservatives have ignored the NHS staffing crisis, leaving it understaffed, under-resourced, and underfunded.

"What the Tories are proposing in this election will not only fail to solve the crisis, but in fact make things worse. The Conservatives' attacks on freedom of movement and their plans to implement a nurse tax will only drive away the EU health professionals we need.

"Our NHS currently relies on the hard work of 20,000 EU nurses. To discourage EU nurses from working in the NHS when we already have a shortage, partly due to the 5000 nurses who have already left the NHS, makes no sense at all.

“Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future where the NHS has the staff it needs and patients receive the care they need.  We will Stop Brexit and invest in the NHS by raising £7 billion a year from one pence on income tax to build a brighter future for our health service.”

Read more about our policies for the NHS in our manifesto:

Jo’s Plan for the Future
Read Jo Swinson’s Plan for Britain’s Future - Stop Brexit Build a Brighter Future - Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2019

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