What impact will Brexit have on the health and social care workforce?

The UK’s departure from the EU could affect a number of issues including cross-border patient entitlements; the regulation and supply of medicines and devices; scientific and medical research; procurement and competition rules; and cross-border co-operation on public health issues. While all these issues are important, the most significant may be the potential impact on the health and social care workforces.

Approximately 60,000 of the 1.2 million NHS workforce* are from other EU countries, including more than 10,000 doctors and more than 20,000 nurses and health visitors. In adult social care, 90,000 of the 1.3 million workers employed by local authority and independent sector employers come from elsewhere in the EU.

The current policy of free movement remains unchanged until the UK concludes the terms of its exit from the EU. Following the announcement of the referendum result, health and social care leaders sought to reassure EU staff that they remain welcome and valued.

Despite this, there is evidence that Brexit is having an impact. The number of EU nationals registering as nurses in the UK has fallen by 90 per cent since the referendum. There has also been a fall in the number of EU nationals taking jobs in the social care sector.

Full article from The Kings Fund, 12 May 2017