Letters Fully home grown doctor workforce

Non-home grown NHS staff feel insecure and unwelcome

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5687 (Published 26 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5687
  1. Rafael Euba, consultant psychiatrist
  1. Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, Memorial Hospital, London SE18 3RZ, UK
  1. Rafael.Euba{at}oxleas.nhs.uk

The BMJ reports on the Conservative Party’s aim to expand the number of “home grown” doctors in the UK.1 Toynbee writes in the Guardian, “The puzzle is why anyone would insult the one third of NHS doctors born abroad by suggesting they are only ‘interim,’ as [Theresa] May said.”2 3

As ministers refuse to guarantee the right for EU staff to stay, NHS doctors and nurses feel insecure and unwelcome—and many may slip away.

Ed Smith, chair of the regulator NHS Improvement, writes in the Telegraph of the risk to patients if overseas workers are made to feel “demoralised and diminished.”4

And Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, recently wrote, “It should be completely uncontroversial to provide early reassurance to international NHS employees about their continued welcome in this country.”2

There is nothing wrong with increasing training for new doctors, but underneath these promises of self sufficiency lies thinly disguised blame on outsiders for the country’s ills. Blaming outsiders has been the populist theme of the Tory conference, in which the home secretary, Amber Rudd, for instance, said that she wanted to “name and shame” businesses that fail to take on British workers.5


  • Competing interests: None declared.


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