NHS hospitals are set to foot the bill for new visas for thousands of EU staff in a bit to keep them in London after Brexit.

St George's Hospital in Tooting is one of the trusts offering to pay visa fees to prevent a feared exodus of foreign health workers.

More than one in 10 of the capital’s health workers are from other European countries and NHS leaders are concerned that the UK’s departure from the EU on March 29 next year will worsen dire staff shortages.

A letter was sent out to the 1,200 EU staff working at St George's Hospital to say that they will reimburse their visa fees. For every 15 members of staff, two of these are from the EU. There are a total of 9,000 staff in total and EU staff are 'valued members of the team and make enormous contribution to the services we provide every day'.

Maria Felguera Guzman, a junior sister at St George's said: “It’s great to feel valued and supported by the Trust – and I hope this will encourage nurses to stay in the UK after Brexit."