Boris Johnson vows to solve NHS crisis using post-Brexit freedoms to fast-track staff

Mr Johnson’s Government is hoping to take advantage of freedoms brought about by Brexit to help fast-track medical staff – including nurses – towards doctors’ qualifications. The measures will be announced next week and aims to tackle the NHS staffing crisis, which is being worsened by a pensions standoff. A draft Department of Health planning document, seen by the Mail Online, reads: “Leaving the EU gives us the opportunity to review and identify flexibility around the existing arrangements which are currently informed by an EU Directive.

“This may allow us to reduce unnecessary training duplication in the UK and make it a quicker process for existing healthcare professionals wishing to train in a different discipline.

“For example, a paramedic who has been in the job for ten years and already has baseline training could be required to do three years’ further training to become a doctor rather than the six (years) stipulated by the EU Directive.”

It also reveals that officials have held meetings with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and the General Medical Council to get the ball rolling.

Professor Carrie MacEwen, chair of The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which represents 23 colleges and faculties, said: “Any way of expanding the medical workforce is to be welcomed because that will improve the quality of patient care. “But, medical training in the UK is among the most rigorous in the world for a very good reason and we would oppose any move that sought to reduce those high standards.

“Leaving the EU may provide different opportunities but there are no quick fixes to the workforce shortages the NHS is facing and making suggestions simply for the sake of demonstrating things are different from the EU may not be the best way to start.”

Currently, the NHS is short of 11,500 doctors.

This is the equivalent of one in 10 posts being left vacant.

It usually takes six years to become a doctor due to the extensive training.

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When Mr Johnson won a stonking general election majority last month, he vowed to solve the NHS crisis.

In one of his party’s main manifesto promises, Mr Johnson has pledged to recruit 50,000 more nurses as part of a £33.9billion boost for the NHS.

Mr Johnson’s intention is to plug a vacancy gap which currently stands at more than 43,000.

Mr Johnson said: “Get Brexit done and then we can focus our hearts and our minds on the priorities of the people.

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“It is this one nation Tory party that has already embarked on the biggest cash boost on the NHS in a generation.

“And today in this manifesto today, we pledge 50,000 more nurses and their bursaries.

Mr Johnson pledged to introduce 50,000 nurses also dwarfed Labour’s equivalent election promise of 24,000.

In tandem with the surge of nursing into the NHS, Mr Johnson also stated that his party would guarantee 50 million more GP appointments a year.

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