brexit outcome for health and social care.

More than a year on from Article 50, we take a look at the latest updates and consider what’s next for the NHS. As of March this year, EEA nationals who currently live and work in the UK seemed to be safe as their rights will remain similar to what they have currently. Considering the significant proportion of non-UK staff we have within the health and social care sectors, this is positive news to help keep our services running smoothly.

Whilst Theresa May appreciates the importance of the many links we have between the UK and EU economies, future agreements will have to consider the benefits that collaboration between the UK and the EU could bring to us. A new report, ‘Brexit and the NHS’ highlights that UK organisations are currently the largest beneficiaries of EU health research funds in Europe, with funds benefiting the NHS too. The debate continues on whether an exit from the EU will contribute to existing funding pressures or if the UK will be able to become more self-reliant.

Amongst funding, these are a few of the other concerns that were raised in the report:

  • Staffing - will more restrictive future immigration rules impact on our skill shortages?
  • Flow of drugs and medical devices - will we still have access to free flowing drugs and medical devices and benefit from new launches?
  • Public health - The EU has played a big part in various areas of public health such as domestic tobacco control policy. Will the UK be able to show as big a commitment to safeguarding public health?

Brexit may have posed some major concerns but some believe that any change of this scale is bound to have some implications and not all the changes will necessarily be bad. For example, with further controls on migration, will the NHS and care services have less pressure on their services?

On the flipside, it has been argued that there may be disadvantages to the EU of UK leaving. An article by the European Patients Forum suggests that the UK contributes a great deal on healthcare research and without the UK in the research mix, the EU could lose out on this research and expertise. 

Either way, it is clear that we need to push to see a good agreement on how collaboration continues between the UK and the EU in order for all parties to benefit. The next few months of negotiation will be crucial for the UK as a whole and for the future workforce of health and social care. 

Elisabetta Zanon, director of the NHS European Office, believes that ‘despite the Government’s commitment to increase the share of our domestically trained health workforce, we expect the NHS to still be in need to recruit internationally going forward’. A fully trained workforce that we are able to retain in this challenging but fulfilling field seems to be a common message in our research. 

All health and social care candidates on our database are offered various training courses from first aid to more specialist training such as autism awareness, to enable them to upskill themselves and last longer in their respective roles. Click here to view all the courses we offer to allow our candidates to feel more confident in their abilities and be able to offer a high level of care in your organisation.

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