EU staff make vital contribution to NHS, MPs told

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Group of hospital staff

MPs have been told of the critical contribution EU staff make to the NHS and social care, and warned that post-Brexit policies must shore up future workforce needs to ensure the health and social care system's sustainability.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers and a representative of the Cavendish Coalition, made the comments when he appeared before the Health Select Committee on Tuesday (21 February). He reiterated the evidence base, messages and concerns raised in the Cavendish Coalition’s submission to the committee’s Brexit inquiry last year.

The cross-party panel of MPs is examining the potential impact leaving the EU could have on the health and care sector.

The Cavendish Coalition, a 33-strong group of health and social care organisations, submitted evidence in November 2016 identifying the priority issues that need to be addressed during Brexit negotiations.

Coalition members are united in their commitment to provide the best care to their communities, patients and residents post-Brexit. The group includes the NHS Confederation, NHS Employers, NHS Clinical Commissioners, the Mental Health Network , the NHS Partners Network, the NHS European Office and the Welsh NHS Confederation. 

Anxiety and concern

Danny Mortimer spoke to a number of points raised in the coalition’s evidence submission, including:
  • the early effects of the decision to leave the EU on health and care recruitment and retention
  • the anxiety and concern felt by EU NHS staff following the Brexit vote 
  • early evidence that some EU doctors and some non-medical staff are now considering leaving the NHS – he will reiterate the Cavendish Coalition’s call for the government to give certainty to EU nationals working in the health and care sector.
  • that workforce self sufficiency is probably neither achievable or desirable in the short term
  • the Cavendish Coalition’s call for future health and care workforce needs to be taken into account in any change to the immigration system following Brexit.

Find out more

Watch the session on the Parliament UK website.

Download the Cavendish Coalition’s written evidence.

Find out more about the coalition.

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