The NHS faces a crisis if EU-National employees are not granted the right to work in the UK
The National Trade Union Centre (TUC) has released a statement regarding more than 140,000 EU workers within the NHS. This statement, which follows previous concerns that have arisen from Brexit, suggests that 7% of adult social workers and 4.5% of other NHS workers across the country could be affected if a right to remain is not granted.
London would be the worst hit, with 13 per cent of adult social care workers and 9.8 per cent of the NHS workforce made up of non-UK nationals from the EU; the South and South East would also be strongly affected.
TUC General Secretary, Ms Frances O’Grady, stated: “The Government is creating appalling uncertainty for thousands of NHS workers and care workers. It’s a terrible way to treat dedicated public servants. And if Brexit means they have to leave, our health and social care services will struggle to cope,”
One of the main concerns regards social care, where NHS spending has already been cut by a fifth to £6.3bn in 2014-15 from £8.1bn in 2005-06. These figures, produced by Age UK, already produce an alarming concern, and therefore the possibility of losing employees within the social care sector is a great cause for concern.
The already struggling NHS would face yet more concerns were it to lose that volume of staff members, with NHS representatives previously disclosing that they are already understaffed. Understaffing would lead to a lower standard of care for all patients, which could have devastating results.
There have been calls for Prime Minister, Theresa May or Home Secretary, Amber Rudd to reassure the thousands of NHS workers, whose jobs seem uncertain, and announce a plan in regards to EU workers and their rights. However, there has been no response produced by Government representatives amongst ongoing Brexit negotiations.
A government White Paper produced earlier in the year eluded to the brightest and best migrants being able to work in the UK, however, amid these reports, it appears as though these words do not incite confidence, and many fear that the ‘top end’ will get the employees they need whereas the less important shall miss out.
It is unclear whether this issue will be addressed formally by the Government until Brexit negotiations have moved forward, and therefore this uncertainty will surround the EU workers within the NHS for a while to come. The loss of these employees will undoubtedly result in a NHS that would not be able to provide adequate care to all patients, producing many more legal claims for Clinical Negligence.
Melanie Lidstone-Land and the Clinical Negligence team at Swain & Co Solicitors regularly win compensation for their clients who have experienced substandard treatment or a failure to provide treatment. If you, a family member or a friend have experienced problems regarding substandard medical treatment contact our team today on 0292 483 322.