NHS staff from overseas
Authors: Abi Rimmer
Publication date: 18 Apr 2017
The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the nationality of NHS staff.
Most NHS staff are British. Around 134 500 report a non-British nationality, which is around 12% of all staff for whom a nationality is known. These staff report over 200 non-British nationalities and just over 60 000 were European Union nationals.
The percentage of British workers in the NHS is broadly in line with the wider economy. The NHS has a lower proportion of staff from new EU countries and a higher from South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and South East Asia.
Most (74%) doctors in hospital and community health services are British. This is a lower proportion than in other NHS staff categories. 12% (12 928) of doctors report an Asian nationality and 10% (10 513) report an EU nationality other than British, with Irish people making up a fifth of this number.
Although there is some difference between regions, the percentage of non-British doctors has the most uniform regional distribution of any NHS staff category. In the south west, 83% of doctors are British. In the east of England, 67% are British. North, central, and east London have the highest percentage of EU doctors, at 14%.
Change since 2009
In 2009, Indian doctors made up almost 12% of doctors whose nationality was known—this has now fallen to 6%. There have also been reductions in doctors from other non-EU countries such as Zambia, Syria, Iran, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. The number of recorded Greek doctors has more than doubled.
- House of Commons Library. NHS staff from overseas: statistics. 2017. [Link]
Abi Rimmer BMJ Careers