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NHS and social care staffing levels at risk from Brexit uncertainty

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The decision to leave the EU could blow a hole in The decision to leave the EU could blow a hole in NHS staffing levels

Nearly 150,000 frontline staff in the NHS and social care are under threat from the effects of Brexit, according to research by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The analysis shows that 145,200 NHS and adult social care workers in England risk losing their right work in the UK after Brexit. The regions where services would suffer the most if EU workers are no longer allowed to work in the UK after Brexit are London, where 13% of care workers and 9.8% of NHS workers are EU migrants, the South East, where 10% of care workers and 6.1% of NHS workers are from the EU, and the East of England (8% care workers and 6% NHS workers).

‘It’s a terrible way to treat dedicated public servants,’ said Frances O’Grady, chief executive of the TUC. ‘And if Brexit means they have to leave, our health and social care services will struggle to cope.’

‘To leave hardworking frontline NHS staff in limbo with regard to their future employment rights is an absolute disgrace,’ said Jon Skewes, RCM director for policy, employment relations and communications.

Maternity services were highlighted as being at particular risk. According to the RCM, official figures showing that in England the equivalent of 1192 full-time NHS midwives from other EU countries. In London alone, more than 16% of the total midwifery workforce is drawn from other EU countries.

‘There will undoubtedly be a gaping hole in the NHS and our maternity services if the working rights of our EU healthcare colleagues are revoked post Brexit,’ said Mr Skewes.

‘England already has a shortage of 3500 midwives – and this could get even worse if EU midwives lose the right to work in this country. To lose over 1000 midwives will impact hugely on an already understaffed, overstretched and struggling maternity service.’

A Department of Health spokesman said the government has ‘repeatedly made clear, overseas workers form a crucial part of our NHS and we value their contribution immensely’.

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Comments

I am a non eu worker and now have to pay an international health surcharge..to work in the nhs...
I have to apply for another visa and pay more for healthcare in which I work
we are struggling to cope with patient levels in primary care and the 1% increase does not cover the increase in travel costs rent nmc fees food etc. there are not enough nurse to cover the situation now and we are going to lose the few we have.
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