North Ayrshire MP Patricia Gibson has blamed Brexit after new figures revealed the shortage of European doctors in the NHS.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the SNP MP questioned ministers about the benefits of Brexit, claiming that the UK Government was to blame for GP struggles across the country.

Mrs Gibson said: “Recent research from the Nuffield Trust has shown that Brexit has worsened the shortage of NHS staff across the UK.

“It has led to more than 4,000 European doctors deciding not to work in NHS services across the UK due to higher cost, increased bureaucracy and uncertainty over visas.

“As Tories and Labour continue to back Brexit, which Scotland rejected, GP surgeries struggle with soaring patient demand.

“As an independent country, Scotland can reverse the damage caused by Westminster’s failed Brexit.

 “Can the secretary of state tell me is this one of the success stories of Brexit we keep hearing about?”

Neil O'Brien, parliamentary under-secretary of state for primary care and public health, defended the number of staff in the NHS.

He said: “International recruitment is up, in fact we have 38,000 more doctors and 54,000 more nurses in the NHS than in 2010.

“In England at least we are taking every step we can to draw on that international talent and we are using it to grow staffing in the NHS.”