The government must do more to ensure that the NHS does not suffer after the UK leaves the European Union in March 2019, the RCN has said.
The organisation raised concernes that little or no progress had been made on five key areas of the health service identified after the Brexit vote in 2016. These are:
- Safeguarding the workforce
- Preserving regulations governing staff and medicines
- Maintaining public health
- Protecting workers’ rights
- Continuing collaboration on EU-wide research and across nursing organisations.
‘The College is extremely concerned that the Government has made so little progress on sorting out vital regulations and agreements with the EU that have a huge impact on British patients, the public and nursing staff,’ Chair of RCN Council Maria Trewern said. ‘These agreements have been built up over decades through collaboration between the different health systems and governments of Europe.’
The RCN is particularly concerned with the post-Brexit immigration system, and what it should look like to ensure the UK remains able to recruit the skilled professionals it needs. The organisation is lobbying the Home Office to publicly guarantee that people with settled status will be honoured, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.