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European nurses leaving the NHS

The number of nurses from EU countries leaving the NHS increased by 38 per cent last year compared to the previous 12 months, HSJ analysis of official data shows.

The increase in European nurses leaving the health service followed the result of the EU membership referendum last June, and will add to concerns over a workforce crisis in the NHS.

Overall, the number of EU staff leaving the NHS in the year to December 2016 increased by 21 per cent from 7,477 in 2015 to 9,023, data collected by NHS Digital shows.

More than 3,480 EU nurses left the NHS during 2016 – a 38 per cent rise on the 2,520 who left the 12 months before.

The number of EU doctors leaving the NHS increased by 3.5 per cent, with a total of 2,369 leaving in the year to December.

The figures will add to concerns over the possible impact of Brexit on the NHS and the UK’s nursing supply. Internal modelling from the Department of Health, leaked earlier this year, showed the potential for a shortage of 42,000 nurses by 2026 in a worst case scenario. Analysis by the Health Foundation has warned of the same number.

ACO stumbles

A council chief who also led a CCG as part of plans to pave the way for a new accountable care organisation has stood down with immediate effect.

Northumberland county council chief executive Steven Mason was confirmed as accountable officer at Northumberland CCG in January.

The council announced this week that he has resigned from the council, and he will not continue his role at the CCG.

HSJ revealed plans for the joint role in December, but the move was delayed because Mr Mason and NHS England had not reached an agreement on the appointment.

Mr Mason has left to “pursue new challenges”, a council statement said.

The Conservative Party replaced Labour as the county’s largest party by winning 33 seats in May’s local election.

The CCG said Mr Mason will no longer be able to fulfil his role as accountable officer because it requires a link to the local authority as part of the progression to an ACO.

The joint role was to form part of the transition to the Northumbria ACO, which was due to go live in April but has been delayed indefinitely.