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Submission to the House of Commons Health Select Committee

The Cavendish Coalition has submitted written evidence to the Health Select Committee to inform its new inquiry on Brexit and health and social care. This follows on from the committee’s pre-referendum inquiry and aims to enable it to identify: 

  • the priority health and social issues that need to be addressed during Brexit negotiations
  • the risks and opportunities arising from the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

In our submission to the committee, we set out the importance of recognising and valuing the contribution of EU nationals working in the UK’s health and social care system now and in the future; highlight that persistent workforce shortages mean that the UK will have a continuing need to recruit health and social care staff from overseas, including the EU, following Brexit and emphasise the need to redouble efforts to increase domestic workforce supply in the longer term. We also set out our negotiating priorities as: 

  • Ensuring that the UK can continue to recruit and retain much needed health and social care staff from the EU and beyond, whilst increasing the domestic supply. 
  • Offer certainty to existing EU nationals working in the health and social care sector by agreeing 'right to remain' in the UK.

Key messages 

  • Individuals from the EU currently working in health and social care services across the UK make a vital contribution and are helping to fill the persistent shortages in the UK workforce.
  • Domestically, additional efforts are needed to encourage and attract individuals to work in the health and social care system, including the expansion of training places and exploring other development opportunities. However, there is a gap in workforce supply in many parts of the health and social care system which requires the ability to attract and retain staff from the EU and beyond.
  • Whatever immigration model is adopted and agreed as part of the EU withdrawal process, it must be flexible enough to allow the health and social care system to recruit appropriately from outside the UK to fill workforce shortages and maintain services.
  • Quickly confirming the right to remain for EU nationals currently working in health and social care across the UK removes the uncertainty and anxiety for individuals and their families and mitigates the risk of staff leaving. Agreement on these rights, including any cut off period post Brexit, need to be communicated in a way that actively supports community cohesion.

For the long term, the UK needs:

  • a robust domestic health and social care workforce strategy to help reduce dependence on both EU and international recruitment
  • to ensure that we are training sufficient staff with the right skills and supporting them to reach their full potential and retain them in health and social care
  • to recognise the contribution that overseas staff make to our services now and will continue to do in the future.
The Health Select Committee will take oral evidence to this inquiry in the New Year. 

Download and read our submission in full

Submission to the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee

The coalition has submitted written evidence on the provision of health and social care services in the UK being somewhat dependent on cross-border inputs such as the movement of workers and the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, and whether these issues are of significance in non-financial services after Brexit.

Download and read the submission in full

Joint statement of purpose

This statement sets out how the coalition will work together to continue to provide the best care to the communities, patients and residents that we are proud to serve. 

Download and read the statement in full

British Future

The coalition's submission to British Future, a cross-party inquiry, which will examine options for guaranteeing the status of EU nationals who are currently living in the UK. 

Download and read the submission in full

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