Brexit and the health and social care workforce in the UK

Brexit and the health and social care workforce in the UK

Prepared for the Cavendish Coalition for the project Incentivising the domestic workforce and securing clear, reasonable routes for immigration both during and after the UK’s exit from the EU

The UK’s H&SC workforce is under considerable strain to provide services for an ageing population with increasingly complex needs. While many of the problems supplying new recruits into the sector pre-date the 2016 Brexit referendum, the vote to leave the European Union (EU) has added another layer of challenge and uncertainty for planning this future workforce.

This report examines recent trends in the UK’s H&SC workforce and the critical role of EEA nationals within it. This is a vital issue because the vote to leave the EU and ongoing uncertainty regarding any deal between the UK and EU, will undoubtedly impact on their decision whether or not to stay with significant implications for the sector. It can also impact the decision of EEA nationals to move to the UK in the future.

The document presents a number of key findings and recommendations. These are designed to ensure that Brexit works in the interests of patient care, and to make sure that the H&SC sector is able to secure the skills and people it needs to continue to provide good care going forward.

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