As the March Brexit deadline approaches we are still little the wiser on how the new horizon will look. We know a little more about a no-deal scenario’s potential impact on health, but what we still have scant detail on is the impact to workforce. With the clock ticking we’ve done some of our own research and reviewed the possible implications and costs if freedom of movement ends and the government brings together EU and international immigration systems.
Valuing NHS staff from overseas
It’s a fact that in the current climate our health service simply couldn’t function without EU and international staff that come to work in the NHS. Based on the best system-wide data available, in the year to September 2017, 12,303 EU nationals started work in the NHS and 14,032 staff joined the NHS from outside of the EU.
The contribution and dedication of staff from overseas is huge, and we must show our continued appreciation by championing their commitment to the NHS at every opportunity.
With research indicating workforce is at breaking point, anything that impacts the NHS’s ability to recruit talented, hardworking professionals is a major risk. We know there are no overnight fixes to our staffing challenges. In the short to medium term there are no alternatives other than to increase international recruitment and ensure resources are put in place to retain current staff.