THE number of EU staff leaving the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust is on the rise since the Brexit vote, according to latest figures.

The NHS trust, which runs Salisbury District Hospital, has seen both a rise in EU employees leaving and a fall in the proportion of EU staff joining.

In 2016-17, 28 EU employees from the Trust left, which was11.2 per cent of all staff who left in the year – up from 7.3 per cent in 2015-16.

This trend is also present in the number of EU residents seeking to join the Trust, with a drop in the proportion of overseas staff being taken on.

In 2015-16, 79 EU staff joined the Trust but in 2016-2017 this dropped by almost half, with only 38 employees from EU countries joining.

To combat the exit of EU nationals the Trust has launched a number of recruitment campaigns to encourage trained staff to work for them.

A spokesman for the Trust said: “We value the diversity of our staff and appreciate the challenges they face when moving to a new country and healthcare organisation.

“In order to support our growing European Union (EU) community here at the hospital we have an established EU network. As part of their work they are supporting

the national NHS Employers campaign ‘LoveOurEUStaff ’ through online networks, social events.

“The network also supports by providing signposting, cultural activities and also liaises with external organisations.”

Currently there are 135,000EU nationals working in the NHS and adult social care system in England.

UNISON organiser for Salisbury, Simon Newell, said: “Our NHS depends on EU workers who give their all looking after people. People who’ve contributed and made a life here should be offered stability and appreciation by the government, not left in the lurch.

“Figures showing more EU citizens leaving their jobs in the NHS are a sad indictment of the government’s poor performance in the Brexit negotiations. The government needs to halt the flow of skilled workers out of the NHS, by guaranteeing the rights of all EU citizens in the UK immediately.”