Health must be “front and centre” of Brexit negotiations

28 April 2017

 

The Health Select Committee has published its report on Brexit.

The committee says the impact of Brexit on the morale of EU staff is concerning and the uncertainty they face is unwelcome.

It also emphasises the importance of ensuring that health and social care providers can retain and recruit the “brightest and the best” from around the world.

NHS Providers is part of the Cavendish Coalition, which brings together more than 30 health and social care organisations to make sure the health and social care system is able to retain and continues to attract the staff it needs – domestically, from Europe and globally, following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

 

Responding to the report, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:

“This report rightly focuses on workforce concerns. It emphasises the valuable contribution of people from EU countries working in health and social care in England. And it highlights the worrying impact that current uncertainty created by Brexit is having on their morale.  

“We have strongly advocated confirmation of their indefinite leave to remain. This must be an urgent priority for the next government.

Until more domestically trained staff are available, and for the forseeable future, it is important the NHS has the ability to recruit from overseas.

“Beyond that, we need a flexible immigration system that will allow the NHS to meet its staffing needs. Until more domestically trained staff are available, and for the foreseeable future, it is important the NHS has the ability to recruit from overseas, including from the EU, so it is sensible to streamline the recruitment system to reduce both delays and cost.

“We agree that health concerns should be “front and centre” of the British negotiating priorities. The report is right to urge the government to consult widely with stakeholders, and we stand ready to contribute advice and expertise to help facilitate the best outcome for NHS staff and patients.”

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