Tag Archives: Reveal

Prostate cancer now kills more people than breast cancer, UK figures reveal

Male illness now third most common cause of cancer death behind lung and bowel

Light micrograph showing prostate cancer


Prostate cancer killed 11,819 men in the UK in 2015. Photograph: Steve Gschmeissner/Getty Images/Science Photo Library

Prostate cancer has become the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK, overtaking breast cancer, despite improvements in survival rates for both.

The top cancer killer in the UK is lung cancer, which claimed 35,486 lives in 2015, followed by colorectal cancer, with a toll of 16,067 people.

However, new figures reveal that 11,819 men died in the UK from prostate cancer in 2015, overtaking breast cancer, which resulted in the deaths of 11,442 women. While not included in the data, about 80 men are also thought to have died from breast cancer in 2015.

Angela Culhane, chief executive of the charity Prostate Cancer UK which collated the figures, said the number of prostate cancer deaths had risen as a result of an ageing population, while improvements in research and screening meant the same effect was not seen for breast cancer.

“We haven’t yet got the big game-changing advances that breast cancer has had in terms of the screening programme and also the precision medicine developments,” said Culhane, adding that breast cancer had received twice as much money for research as prostate cancer. “We need to bust that myth that it is just an old man’s disease that you don’t need to think is significant,” she added.

According to the charity, while 72,513 pieces of research had been published on prostate cancer since 1999, more than 146,000 had been published on breast cancer. Meanwhile, Prostate Cancer UK estimates that £120m is needed for research over the next eight years to halve the number of prostate cancer deaths expected by 2026.

“We want to learn from what they have been able to achieve [for breast cancer] and we can see the correlation between that investment in research and the progress that then follows in terms of reducing the number of deaths,” said Culhane.

But despite the rise in the number of prostate cancer deaths, the bigger picture was positive, said Culhane. “If you compare to 10, 20 years ago, survival rates are generally getting better, that is certainly the case for both prostate and breast [cancer].”

Michael Chapman, director of information and involvement at Cancer Research UK, agreed. “The number of men getting and dying from prostate cancer is increasing mostly because of population growth and because we are living longer,” he said. “If we take into account our growing and ageing population, the death rate for both breast and prostate cancer is falling, though it is falling faster for breast than prostate cancer.”

Roger Wotton, chairman of Tackle Prostate Cancer, said. “This is a wake-up call for men and for the health service. Women have screening for breast cancer and this is one reason why mortality rates for prostate cancer are now higher than those for breast cancer. We need to get the prostate cancer mortality figures down, particularly as one third of men diagnosed already have advanced prostate cancer. We need earlier diagnosis and a better-informed testing regime.”

Prostate cancer now kills more people than breast cancer, UK figures reveal

Male illness now third most common cause of cancer death behind lung and bowel

Light micrograph showing prostate cancer


Prostate cancer killed 11,819 men in the UK in 2015. Photograph: Steve Gschmeissner/Getty Images/Science Photo Library

Prostate cancer has become the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK, overtaking breast cancer, despite improvements in survival rates for both.

The top cancer killer in the UK is lung cancer, which claimed 35,486 lives in 2015, followed by colorectal cancer, with a toll of 16,067 people.

However, new figures reveal that 11,819 men died in the UK from prostate cancer in 2015, overtaking breast cancer, which resulted in the deaths of 11,442 women. While not included in the data, about 80 men are also thought to have died from breast cancer in 2015.

Angela Culhane, chief executive of the charity Prostate Cancer UK which collated the figures, said the number of prostate cancer deaths had risen as a result of an ageing population, while improvements in research and screening meant the same effect was not seen for breast cancer.

“We haven’t yet got the big game-changing advances that breast cancer has had in terms of the screening programme and also the precision medicine developments,” said Culhane, adding that breast cancer had received twice as much money for research as prostate cancer. “We need to bust that myth that it is just an old man’s disease that you don’t need to think is significant,” she added.

According to the charity, while 72,513 pieces of research had been published on prostate cancer since 1999, more than 146,000 had been published on breast cancer. Meanwhile, Prostate Cancer UK estimates that £120m is needed for research over the next eight years to halve the number of prostate cancer deaths expected by 2026.

“We want to learn from what they have been able to achieve [for breast cancer] and we can see the correlation between that investment in research and the progress that then follows in terms of reducing the number of deaths,” said Culhane.

But despite the rise in the number of prostate cancer deaths, the bigger picture was positive, said Culhane. “If you compare to 10, 20 years ago, survival rates are generally getting better, that is certainly the case for both prostate and breast [cancer].”

Michael Chapman, director of information and involvement at Cancer Research UK, agreed. “The number of men getting and dying from prostate cancer is increasing mostly because of population growth and because we are living longer,” he said. “If we take into account our growing and ageing population, the death rate for both breast and prostate cancer is falling, though it is falling faster for breast than prostate cancer.”

Roger Wotton, chairman of Tackle Prostate Cancer, said. “This is a wake-up call for men and for the health service. Women have screening for breast cancer and this is one reason why mortality rates for prostate cancer are now higher than those for breast cancer. We need to get the prostate cancer mortality figures down, particularly as one third of men diagnosed already have advanced prostate cancer. We need earlier diagnosis and a better-informed testing regime.”

Prostate cancer now kills more people than breast cancer, UK figures reveal

Male illness now third most common cause of cancer death behind lung and bowel

Light micrograph showing prostate cancer


Prostate cancer killed 11,819 men in the UK in 2015. Photograph: Steve Gschmeissner/Getty Images/Science Photo Library

Prostate cancer has become the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK, overtaking breast cancer, despite improvements in survival rates for both.

The top cancer killer in the UK is lung cancer, which claimed 35,486 lives in 2015, followed by colorectal cancer, with a toll of 16,067 people.

However, new figures reveal that 11,819 men died in the UK from prostate cancer in 2015, overtaking breast cancer, which resulted in the deaths of 11,442 women. While not included in the data, about 80 men are also thought to have died from breast cancer in 2015.

Angela Culhane, chief executive of the charity Prostate Cancer UK which collated the figures, said the number of prostate cancer deaths had risen as a result of an ageing population, while improvements in research and screening meant the same effect was not seen for breast cancer.

“We haven’t yet got the big game-changing advances that breast cancer has had in terms of the screening programme and also the precision medicine developments,” said Culhane, adding that breast cancer had received twice as much money for research as prostate cancer. “We need to bust that myth that it is just an old man’s disease that you don’t need to think is significant,” she added.

According to the charity, while 72,513 pieces of research had been published on prostate cancer since 1999, more than 146,000 had been published on breast cancer. Meanwhile, Prostate Cancer UK estimates that £120m is needed for research over the next eight years to halve the number of prostate cancer deaths expected by 2026.

“We want to learn from what they have been able to achieve [for breast cancer] and we can see the correlation between that investment in research and the progress that then follows in terms of reducing the number of deaths,” said Culhane.

But despite the rise in the number of prostate cancer deaths, the bigger picture was positive, said Culhane. “If you compare to 10, 20 years ago, survival rates are generally getting better, that is certainly the case for both prostate and breast [cancer].”

Michael Chapman, director of information and involvement at Cancer Research UK, agreed. “The number of men getting and dying from prostate cancer is increasing mostly because of population growth and because we are living longer,” he said. “If we take into account our growing and ageing population, the death rate for both breast and prostate cancer is falling, though it is falling faster for breast than prostate cancer.”

Roger Wotton, chairman of Tackle Prostate Cancer, said. “This is a wake-up call for men and for the health service. Women have screening for breast cancer and this is one reason why mortality rates for prostate cancer are now higher than those for breast cancer. We need to get the prostate cancer mortality figures down, particularly as one third of men diagnosed already have advanced prostate cancer. We need earlier diagnosis and a better-informed testing regime.”

Prostate cancer now kills more people than breast cancer, UK figures reveal

Male illness now third most common cause of cancer death behind lung and bowel

Light micrograph showing prostate cancer


Prostate cancer killed 11,819 men in the UK in 2015. Photograph: Steve Gschmeissner/Getty Images/Science Photo Library

Prostate cancer has become the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK, overtaking breast cancer, despite improvements in survival rates for both.

The top cancer killer in the UK is lung cancer, which claimed 35,486 lives in 2015, followed by colorectal cancer, with a toll of 16,067 people.

However, new figures reveal that 11,819 men died in the UK from prostate cancer in 2015, overtaking breast cancer, which resulted in the deaths of 11,442 women. While not included in the data, about 80 men are also thought to have died from breast cancer in 2015.

Angela Culhane, chief executive of the charity Prostate Cancer UK which collated the figures, said the number of prostate cancer deaths had risen as a result of an ageing population, while improvements in research and screening meant the same effect was not seen for breast cancer.

“We haven’t yet got the big game-changing advances that breast cancer has had in terms of the screening programme and also the precision medicine developments,” said Culhane, adding that breast cancer had received twice as much money for research as prostate cancer. “We need to bust that myth that it is just an old man’s disease that you don’t need to think is significant,” she added.

According to the charity, while 72,513 pieces of research had been published on prostate cancer since 1999, more than 146,000 had been published on breast cancer. Meanwhile, Prostate Cancer UK estimates that £120m is needed for research over the next eight years to halve the number of prostate cancer deaths expected by 2026.

“We want to learn from what they have been able to achieve [for breast cancer] and we can see the correlation between that investment in research and the progress that then follows in terms of reducing the number of deaths,” said Culhane.

But despite the rise in the number of prostate cancer deaths, the bigger picture was positive, said Culhane. “If you compare to 10, 20 years ago, survival rates are generally getting better, that is certainly the case for both prostate and breast [cancer].”

Michael Chapman, director of information and involvement at Cancer Research UK, agreed. “The number of men getting and dying from prostate cancer is increasing mostly because of population growth and because we are living longer,” he said. “If we take into account our growing and ageing population, the death rate for both breast and prostate cancer is falling, though it is falling faster for breast than prostate cancer.”

Roger Wotton, chairman of Tackle Prostate Cancer, said. “This is a wake-up call for men and for the health service. Women have screening for breast cancer and this is one reason why mortality rates for prostate cancer are now higher than those for breast cancer. We need to get the prostate cancer mortality figures down, particularly as one third of men diagnosed already have advanced prostate cancer. We need earlier diagnosis and a better-informed testing regime.”

Monsanto sold banned chemicals for years despite known health risks, archives reveal

Monsanto continued to produce and sell toxic industrial chemicals known as PCBs for eight years after learning that they posed hazards to public health and the environment, according to legal analysis of documents put online in a vast searchable archive.

More than 20,000 internal memos, minuted meetings, letters and other documents have been published in the new archive, many for the first time.

Most were obtained from legal discovery and access to documents requests digitised by the Poison Papers Project, which was launched by the Bioscience Resource Project and the Center for Media and Democracy. Chiron Return contributed some documents to the library.

Bill Sherman, the assistant attorney general for the US state of Washington – which is suing Monsanto for PCB clean-up costs potentially worth billions of dollars – said the archive contained damning evidence the state had previously been unaware of.

Atom

He told the Guardian: “If authentic, these records confirm that Monsanto knew that their PCBs were harmful and pervasive in the environment, and kept selling them in spite of that fact. They knew the dangers, but hid them from the public in order to profit.”

As well as the Washington case, Monsanto is facing PCB contamination suits from city authorities in Seattle, Spokane, Long Beach, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, Oakland and Berkeley.

Any legal liabilities may be shared with the German chemicals company, Bayer, which has mounted a $ 66bn (£51bn) takeover bid for Monsanto. The European commission aims to complete a competition probe into the merger by 22 August, amid signs of public unease in Europe and the US.

Monsanto’s vice president of global strategy, Scott Partridge, did not dispute the authenticity of the documents revealed in the online cache but denied any impropriety.

He told the Guardian: “More than 40 years ago, the former Monsanto voluntarily stopped production and sale of PCBs prior to any federal requirement to do so. At the time Monsanto manufactured PCBs, they were a legal and approved product used in many useful applications. Monsanto has no liability for pollution caused by those who used or discharged PCBs into the environment.”

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are long-lived pollutants that were mass produced by Monsanto between 1935 and 1977 for use as coolants and lubricators in electrical equipment such as transformers and capacitors.

By 1979, they had been completely banned in the US and elsewhere, after a weight of evidence linking them to health ailments that ranged from chloracne and Yusho (rice oil disease) to cancer, and to environmental harm.

Yet a decade earlier, one Monsanto pollution abatement plan in the archive from October 1969, singled out by Sherman, suggests that Monsanto was even then aware of the risks posed by PCB use.

In a section on “damage to the ecological system by contamination from PCBs,” it said: “The evidence proving the persistence of these compounds and their universal presence in the environment is beyond questioning.”

“Direct lawsuits are possible” it continued, because “customers using the products have not been officially notified about known effects nor [do] our labels carry this information.”

The plan offered three courses of action, each accompanied by “profit and liability” flow charts. The options were: “Do nothing”, “discontinue manufacture of all PCBs” or “respond responsibly,” admitting environmental contaminations, and taking remedial action.

Sherman said: “At the same time that Monsanto was telling the public that that PCBs were safe, they were literally graphing their potential legal liability against the lost profits and public image boost that might accompany being responsible and honest. At the end of the day, Monsanto went for the profits instead of for public health and environmental safety.”

Another internal memo from September 1969 lists PCB leakages in the Gulf Coast, Great Lakes and San Francisco Bay areas and outlines potential cleanup actions. But the memo also says Monsanto’s strategy should be to “let govt prove its case on a case by case basis”.

It says: “We can prove some things are ok at low concentration. Give Monsanto some defence. We can’t defend vs everything. Some animals or fish or insects will be harmed.”

Two months later, a PCB presentation to Monsanto’s corporate development committee firmed up this warning: “From the standpoint of reproduction, the PCBs are highly toxic to birds,” it said.

The presentation described the firm’s Aroclor 1254 and 1260 products as “the most serious offenders” in what it admitted was “a worldwide ecological problem”.

Production of Aroclor 1254 and other PCBs continued until August 1977. In 1999, Aroclor 1254 and 1260 were blamed for one of Europe’s worst food contamination outbreaks, in Belgium. Wallonia’s agriculture minister called it “the most serious economic crisis Belgium has known since the war”.

Monsanto began manufacturing PCBs in 1935, after acquiring the Swann chemical company. It went on to dominate global production.

Adverse health effects linked to PCBs had first forced their way on to the company’s agenda in 1937, when autopsies revealed that three Monsanto workers had died from severe liver damage after handling the substance.

These concerns ratcheted up several levels in 1966, when a landmark study by Soren Jensen discovered the bioaccumulation of PCBs in Baltic fish and sea birds.

By the 1970s, nearly 80% of the Baltic Sea’s three female seal species were found to be infertile, and correlations with PCB exposure were soon established.

By 1972, Monsanto had voluntarily stopped selling PCBs for all uses except in enclosed electrical applications. In the same year, Sweden and Japan imposed moratoriums on “open” PCB use and manufacture.

In the US, an interdepartmental government task force called for the use of PCBs to be restricted to “essential or non-replaceable uses which involve minimal direct human exposure since they can have adverse effects on human health.”

But their report found “no toxicological or ecological data” to indicate a threat to human health from levels thought present in the environment, although the data available to the task force to was “inadequate”, its authors said.

In 1975, as EPA officials publicly labelled PCBs “highly toxic” and “a significant hazard to human health and the environment,” Monsanto privately admitted that they did not just affect animals but “can have permanent effects on the human body”.

Publicly though, Monsanto downplayed health and environmental hazards in contacts with several public authorities over this period, insisting that they were not “highly toxic” to the EPA, American National Standards Institute and to Congressmen.

EU agencies today cite PCBs as a textbook justification for the bloc’s precautionary principle, obliging caution in the face of potential health and environmental hazards.

Monsanto continued selling PCBs for years despite knowing health risks, archives reveal

Monsanto continued to produce and sell toxic industrial chemicals known as PCBs for eight years after learning that they posed hazards to public health and the environment, according to legal analysis of documents put online in a vast searchable archive.

More than 20,000 internal memos, minuted meetings, letters and other documents have been published in the new archive, many for the first time.

Most were obtained from legal discovery and access to documents requests by the Poison Papers Project, which incorporates the Bioscience Resource Project, the Center for Media and Democracy and Chiron Return.

Bill Sherman, the assistant attorney general for the US state of Washington – which is suing Monsanto for PCB clean-up costs potentially worth billions of dollars – said the archive contained damning evidence the state had previously been unaware of.

Atom

He told the Guardian: “If authentic, these records confirm that Monsanto knew that their PCBs were harmful and pervasive in the environment, and kept selling them in spite of that fact. They knew the dangers, but hid them from the public in order to profit.”

As well as the Washington case, Monsanto is facing PCB contamination suits from city authorities in Seattle, Spokane, Long Beach, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, Oakland and Berkeley.

Any legal liabilities may be shared with the German chemicals company, Bayer, which has mounted a $ 66bn (£51bn) takeover bid for Monsanto. The European commission aims to complete a competition probe into the merger by 22 August, amid signs of public unease in Europe and the US.

Monsanto’s vice president of global strategy, Scott Partridge, did not dispute the authenticity of the documents revealed in the online cache but denied any impropriety.

He told the Guardian: “More than 40 years ago, the former Monsanto voluntarily stopped production and sale of PCBs prior to any federal requirement to do so. At the time Monsanto manufactured PCBs, they were a legal and approved product used in many useful applications. Monsanto has no liability for pollution caused by those who used or discharged PCBs into the environment.”

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are long-lived pollutants that were mass produced by Monsanto between 1935 and 1977 for use as coolants and lubricators in electrical equipment such as transformers and capacitors.

By 1979, they had been completely banned in the US and elsewhere, after a weight of evidence linking them to health ailments that ranged from chloracne and Yusho (rice oil disease) to cancer, and to environmental harm.

Yet a decade earlier, one Monsanto pollution abatement plan in the archive from October 1969, singled out by Sherman, suggests that Monsanto was even then aware of the risks posed by PCB use.

In a section on “damage to the ecological system by contamination from PCBs,” it said: “The evidence proving the persistence of these compounds and their universal presence in the environment is beyond questioning.”

“Direct lawsuits are possible” it continued, because “customers using the products have not been officially notified about known effects nor [do] our labels carry this information.”

The plan offered three courses of action, each accompanied by “profit and liability” flow charts. The options were: “Do nothing”, “discontinue manufacture of all PCBs” or “respond responsibly,” admitting environmental contaminations, and taking remedial action.

Sherman said: “At the same time that Monsanto was telling the public that that PCBs were safe, they were literally graphing their potential legal liability against the lost profits and public image boost that might accompany being responsible and honest. At the end of the day, Monsanto went for the profits instead of for public health and environmental safety.”

Another internal memo from September 1969 lists PCB leakages in the Gulf Coast, Great Lakes and San Francisco Bay areas and outlines potential cleanup actions. But the memo also says Monsanto’s strategy should be to “let govt prove its case on a case by case basis”.

It says: “We can prove some things are ok at low concentration. Give Monsanto some defence. We can’t defend vs everything. Some animals or fish or insects will be harmed.”

Two months later, a PCB presentation to Monsanto’s corporate development committee firmed up this warning: “From the standpoint of reproduction, the PCBs are highly toxic to birds,” it said.

The presentation described the firm’s Aroclor 1254 and 1260 products as “the most serious offenders” in what it admitted was “a worldwide ecological problem”.

By 1972, Monsanto had voluntarily stopped selling PCBs for all uses except in enclosed electrical applications. In the same year, Sweden and Japan imposed moratoriums on “open” PCB use and manufacture.

In the US, an interdepartmental government task force called for the use of PCBs to be restricted to “essential or non-replaceable uses which involve minimal direct human exposure since they can have adverse effects on human health.”

But their report found “no toxicological or ecological data” to indicate a threat to human health from levels thought present in the environment, although the data available to the task force to was “inadequate”, its authors said.

Production of Aroclor 1254 and other PCBs continued until August 1977. In 1999, Aroclor 1254 and 1260 were blamed for one of Europe’s worst food contamination outbreaks, in Belgium. Wallonia’s agriculture minister called it “the most serious economic crisis Belgium has known since the war”.

Monsanto began manufacturing PCBs in 1935, after acquiring the Swann chemical company. It went on to dominate global production.

Adverse health effects linked to PCBs had first forced their way on to the company’s agenda in 1937, when autopsies revealed that three Monsanto workers had died from severe liver damage after handling the substance.

These concerns ratcheted up several levels in 1966, when a landmark study by Soren Jensen discovered the bioaccumulation of PCBs in Baltic fish and sea birds.

By the 1970s, nearly 80% of the Baltic Sea’s three female seal species were found to be infertile, and correlations with PCB exposure were soon established.

In 1975, as EPA officials publicly labelled PCBs “highly toxic” and “a significant hazard to human health and the environment,” Monsanto privately admitted that they did not just affect animals but “can have permanent effects on the human body”.

Publicly though, Monsanto downplayed health and environmental hazards in contacts with several public authorities over this period, insisting that they were not “highly toxic” to the EPA, American National Standards Institute and to Congressmen.

EU agencies today cite PCBs as a textbook justification for the bloc’s precautionary principle, obliging caution in the face of potential health and environmental hazards.

More nurses and midwives leaving UK profession than joining, figures reveal

More midwives and nurses are leaving the profession in the UK than joining for the first time on record, with the number departing having risen by 51% in just four years.

The figures, which will add to concerns about NHS staff shortages, show that 20% more people left the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register than joined it in 2016/17. The overall number of leavers was 34,941, compared with 23,087 in 2012/13.

While concerns have previously been raised about a large drop in EU registrants in the wake of the Brexit vote, the NMC figures, published on Monday, show that it is the departure of UK nurses – who make up 85% of the register – that is having the biggest impact. In 2016/17, 29,434 UK nurses and midwives left the register, up from 19,818 in 2012/13, and 45% more UK registrants left than joined last year.

Unions say there is a shortage of 40,000 nurses and 3,500 midwives in England alone and they, and NHS trusts, blamed the pay cap and workplace pressures.

Saffron Cordery, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said: “The NHS is severely stretched and we need to keep and value our staff. This is important for the quality and particularly the continuity of care. We need to follow through on the investment in training staff by consolidating and building on their skills, motivating them and giving them reasons to stay in the NHS.”

After consecutive yearly rises in the number of people on the register since 2013, the number fell by 1,783 in 2016/17. It has dropped more steeply since then, by a further 3,264 in April and May.

The average age of those leaving the register has fallen from 55 in 2013 to 51. Of those who left in 2016/17, 2,901 were in the 21-30 age group, almost double the 2012/13 number.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said patients were paying the price of government policy. “The average nurse is £3,000 worse off in real terms compared with 2010,” she said. “The 1% cap means nursing staff can no longer afford to stay in the profession and scrapping student funding means people can no longer afford to join it.”

Davies said it was worrying that many were going abroad. The NMC logged 4,153 “verification requests” from overseas licensing authorities – mostly in Australia, the US and Ireland – in relation to UK registrants in 2016/17.

An NMC survey of more than 4,500 nurses and midwives who left the register over the previous 12 months found that about a half had retired. Among those who had not, the top three reasons cited for leaving were working conditions, including staffing levels (44%), a change in personal circumstances, such as ill health (28%), and disillusionment with the quality of patient care (27%). Other reasons included leaving the UK (18%) and poor pay and benefits (16%).

Jon Skewes, the Royal College of Midwives’s director for policy, employment relations and communications, said: “The incredible pressures midwives are under due to increasing demands on services are a factor here. This combined with years of pay freezes and pay restraint has left our health professionals demoralised and disillusioned.”

The number of EU workers – who make up 5% of the register – leaving increased to 3,081 from 1,173 in 2012/2013. There were 247 responses to the NMC survey from EU registrants, with 32% saying Brexit had persuaded them to consider working elsewhere.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “We are making sure we have the nurses we need to continue delivering world-class patient care – that’s why there are almost 13,100 more on our wards since May 2010 and 52,000 in training.”

The spokeswoman highlighted the NHS Improvement programme to increase staff retention, which launched last week. However, Cordery said it would have limited impact unless the pay cap and “unsustainable workplace pressures” were addressed.

More nurses and midwives leaving UK profession than joining, figures reveal

More midwives and nurses are leaving the profession in the UK than joining for the first time on record, with the number departing having risen by 51% in just four years.

The figures, which will add to concerns about NHS staff shortages, show that 20% more people left the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register than joined it in 2016/17. The overall number of leavers was 34,941, compared with 23,087 in 2012/13.

While concerns have previously been raised about a large drop in EU registrants in the wake of the Brexit vote, the NMC figures, published on Monday, show that it is the departure of UK nurses – who make up 85% of the register – that is having the biggest impact. In 2016/17, 29,434 UK nurses and midwives left the register, up from 19,818 in 2012/13, and 45% more UK registrants left than joined last year.

Unions say there is a shortage of 40,000 nurses and 3,500 midwives in England alone and they, and NHS trusts, blamed the pay cap and workplace pressures.

Saffron Cordery, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said: “The NHS is severely stretched and we need to keep and value our staff. This is important for the quality and particularly the continuity of care. We need to follow through on the investment in training staff by consolidating and building on their skills, motivating them and giving them reasons to stay in the NHS.”

After consecutive yearly rises in the number of people on the register since 2013, the number fell by 1,783 in 2016/17. It has dropped more steeply since then, by a further 3,264 in April and May.

The average age of those leaving the register has fallen from 55 in 2013 to 51. Of those who left in 2016/17, 2,901 were in the 21-30 age group, almost double the 2012/13 number.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said patients were paying the price of government policy. “The average nurse is £3,000 worse off in real terms compared with 2010,” she said. “The 1% cap means nursing staff can no longer afford to stay in the profession and scrapping student funding means people can no longer afford to join it.”

Davies said it was worrying that many were going abroad. The NMC logged 4,153 “verification requests” from overseas licensing authorities – mostly in Australia, the US and Ireland – in relation to UK registrants in 2016/17.

An NMC survey of more than 4,500 nurses and midwives who left the register over the previous 12 months found that about a half had retired. Among those who had not, the top three reasons cited for leaving were working conditions, including staffing levels (44%), a change in personal circumstances, such as ill health (28%), and disillusionment with the quality of patient care (27%). Other reasons included leaving the UK (18%) and poor pay and benefits (16%).

Jon Skewes, the Royal College of Midwives’s director for policy, employment relations and communications, said: “The incredible pressures midwives are under due to increasing demands on services are a factor here. This combined with years of pay freezes and pay restraint has left our health professionals demoralised and disillusioned.”

The number of EU workers – who make up 5% of the register – leaving increased to 3,081 from 1,173 in 2012/2013. There were 247 responses to the NMC survey from EU registrants, with 32% saying Brexit had persuaded them to consider working elsewhere.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “We are making sure we have the nurses we need to continue delivering world-class patient care – that’s why there are almost 13,100 more on our wards since May 2010 and 52,000 in training.”

The spokeswoman highlighted the NHS Improvement programme to increase staff retention, which launched last week. However, Cordery said it would have limited impact unless the pay cap and “unsustainable workplace pressures” were addressed.

More nurses and midwives leaving UK profession than joining, figures reveal

More midwives and nurses are leaving the profession in the UK than joining for the first time on record, with the number departing having risen by 51% in just four years.

The figures, which will add to concerns about NHS staff shortages, show that 20% more people left the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register than joined it in 2016/17. The overall number of leavers was 34,941, compared with 23,087 in 2012/13.

While concerns have previously been raised about a large drop in EU registrants in the wake of the Brexit vote, the NMC figures, published on Monday, show that it is the departure of UK nurses – who make up 85% of the register – that is having the biggest impact. In 2016/17, 29,434 UK nurses and midwives left the register, up from 19,818 in 2012/13, and 45% more UK registrants left than joined last year.

Unions say there is a shortage of 40,000 nurses and 3,500 midwives in England alone and they, and NHS trusts, blamed the pay cap and workplace pressures.

Saffron Cordery, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said: “The NHS is severely stretched and we need to keep and value our staff. This is important for the quality and particularly the continuity of care. We need to follow through on the investment in training staff by consolidating and building on their skills, motivating them and giving them reasons to stay in the NHS.”

After consecutive yearly rises in the number of people on the register since 2013, the number fell by 1,783 in 2016/17. It has dropped more steeply since then, by a further 3,264 in April and May.

The average age of those leaving the register has fallen from 55 in 2013 to 51. Of those who left in 2016/17, 2,901 were in the 21-30 age group, almost double the 2012/13 number.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said patients were paying the price of government policy. “The average nurse is £3,000 worse off in real terms compared with 2010,” she said. “The 1% cap means nursing staff can no longer afford to stay in the profession and scrapping student funding means people can no longer afford to join it.”

Davies said it was worrying that many were going abroad. The NMC logged 4,153 “verification requests” from overseas licensing authorities – mostly in Australia, the US and Ireland – in relation to UK registrants in 2016/17.

An NMC survey of more than 4,500 nurses and midwives who left the register over the previous 12 months found that about a half had retired. Among those who had not, the top three reasons cited for leaving were working conditions, including staffing levels (44%), a change in personal circumstances, such as ill health (28%), and disillusionment with the quality of patient care (27%). Other reasons included leaving the UK (18%) and poor pay and benefits (16%).

Jon Skewes, the Royal College of Midwives’s director for policy, employment relations and communications, said: “The incredible pressures midwives are under due to increasing demands on services are a factor here. This combined with years of pay freezes and pay restraint has left our health professionals demoralised and disillusioned.”

The number of EU workers – who make up 5% of the register – leaving increased to 3,081 from 1,173 in 2012/2013. There were 247 responses to the NMC survey from EU registrants, with 32% saying Brexit had persuaded them to consider working elsewhere.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “We are making sure we have the nurses we need to continue delivering world-class patient care – that’s why there are almost 13,100 more on our wards since May 2010 and 52,000 in training.”

The spokeswoman highlighted the NHS Improvement programme to increase staff retention, which launched last week. However, Cordery said it would have limited impact unless the pay cap and “unsustainable workplace pressures” were addressed.

More nurses and midwives leaving UK profession than joining, figures reveal

More midwives and nurses are leaving the profession in the UK than joining for the first time on record, with the number departing having risen by 51% in just four years.

The figures, which will add to concerns about NHS staff shortages, show that 20% more people left the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register than joined it in 2016/17. The overall number of leavers was 34,941, compared with 23,087 in 2012/13.

While concerns have previously been raised about a large drop in EU registrants in the wake of the Brexit vote, the NMC figures, published on Monday, show that it is the departure of UK nurses – who make up 85% of the register – that is having the biggest impact. In 2016/17, 29,434 UK nurses and midwives left the register, up from 19,818 in 2012/13, and 45% more UK registrants left than joined last year.

Unions say there is a shortage of 40,000 nurses and 3,500 midwives in England alone and they, and NHS trusts, blamed the pay cap and workplace pressures.

Saffron Cordery, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said: “The NHS is severely stretched and we need to keep and value our staff. This is important for the quality and particularly the continuity of care. We need to follow through on the investment in training staff by consolidating and building on their skills, motivating them and giving them reasons to stay in the NHS.”

After consecutive yearly rises in the number of people on the register since 2013, the number fell by 1,783 in 2016/17. It has dropped more steeply since then, by a further 3,264 in April and May.

The average age of those leaving the register has fallen from 55 in 2013 to 51. Of those who left in 2016/17, 2,901 were in the 21-30 age group, almost double the 2012/13 number.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said patients were paying the price of government policy. “The average nurse is £3,000 worse off in real terms compared with 2010,” she said. “The 1% cap means nursing staff can no longer afford to stay in the profession and scrapping student funding means people can no longer afford to join it.”

Davies said it was worrying that many were going abroad. The NMC logged 4,153 “verification requests” from overseas licensing authorities – mostly in Australia, the US and Ireland – in relation to UK registrants in 2016/17.

An NMC survey of more than 4,500 nurses and midwives who left the register over the previous 12 months found that about a half had retired. Among those who had not, the top three reasons cited for leaving were working conditions, including staffing levels (44%), a change in personal circumstances, such as ill health (28%), and disillusionment with the quality of patient care (27%). Other reasons included leaving the UK (18%) and poor pay and benefits (16%).

Jon Skewes, the Royal College of Midwives’s director for policy, employment relations and communications, said: “The incredible pressures midwives are under due to increasing demands on services are a factor here. This combined with years of pay freezes and pay restraint has left our health professionals demoralised and disillusioned.”

The number of EU workers – who make up 5% of the register – leaving increased to 3,081 from 1,173 in 2012/2013. There were 247 responses to the NMC survey from EU registrants, with 32% saying Brexit had persuaded them to consider working elsewhere.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “We are making sure we have the nurses we need to continue delivering world-class patient care – that’s why there are almost 13,100 more on our wards since May 2010 and 52,000 in training.”

The spokeswoman highlighted the NHS Improvement programme to increase staff retention, which launched last week. However, Cordery said it would have limited impact unless the pay cap and “unsustainable workplace pressures” were addressed.