05th July 2016 Written by Skills for Health

Image: Valuing the contribution of EU healthcare staff.Following the EU Referendum result on June 23, it’s been revealed that healthcare workers in the UK could be facing new terms in the future.

The EU’s policy of freedom of movement and mutual recognition of professional qualifications within the EU means that many health and social care professionals currently working in the UK have come from other EU countries. The UK health sector employs more than 2.1 million people and it has been estimated that 55,000 are EU citizens who have travelled to the British Isles to join the healthcare profession.

This number reflects staff at all levels, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and those in administration and support roles in the NHS, independent and third sector employers.

But while these valued staff may be facing an uncertain future, Skills for Health wants to praise the role that they play across the healthcare industry in the UK.

The vital work of these staff in the health sphere is appreciated not only by those they are serving alongside, but also by those members of the public who they care for. The contribution which EU citizens have made to UK healthcare has been of the utmost quality and has helped the industry to thrive.

An article by the King’s Fund reported that the impact of the UK’s vote to leave the EU could have major implications for health and social care, due to the uncertainty at this current time when these services are facing operational and financial pressures.  We are now at a time when the government must clarify its intentions of the ability of EU nationals to work in the UK, ensure they are supported during this time and that favourable work terms within the NHS are negotiated after Brexit.

Skills for Health works with employers to get the right people with the right skills, in the right place at the right time, and the sector has benefited enormously from those who have chosen to come and work in the UK.

Skills for Health still believe it’s imperative that EU workers feel welcome and believe they are fulfilling an important role within the industry. Although the UK’s exit from the EU will have implications, while the new terms are being understood, it’s more important than ever to recognise the hard work and dedication from those EU staff members.