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22 June 2021updated 21 Sep 2021 6:09pm

How foreign workers contribute to the NHS

Almost one in seven health service staff are from overseas. 

One in seven NHS workers in England are foreign nationals. That’s according to figures from the health service, which found last September that around 170,000 of the NHS’s 1.3 million staff members reported a non-British nationality – around 13.9 per cent of staff. 


The figures show that Indians make up the largest number of foreign staff members, at 27,620 workers, followed by Filipino (23,035), Irish (13,975) and Polish (10,225) staff. EU and EEA nationals account for 5.5 per cent of workers overall, while those from the rest of the world represent 8.5 per cent.

The figures highlight the contribution workers from overseas make to England’s health service. The Conservative peer and former Test and Trace head Dido Harding, who has applied to be the next head of NHS England, has vowed to end the service’s reliance on foreign doctors and nurses. At present, 29 per cent of all hospital doctors are non-British nationals, as are 18 per cent of nurses and health visitors.

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