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BMA and colleges join forces to protect EU workers post-Brexit

A coalition of 29 health and social care organisations has been set up in the wake of Britain’s decision to withdraw from the EU in a bid to lead protect the rights of EU workers in the NHS.

The Cavendish Coalition, which includes the BMA, NHS Clinical Commissioners and NHS Employers, is particularly keen to ensure that ‘EU citizens working in the UK’s social care and health sectors should remain’.

In its new role the coalition has already submitted evidence to a cross-party inquiry chaired by MP Gisela Stuart which will examine options for guaranteeing the status of EU nationals who are currently living in the UK.

The coalition has pledged to secure the workforce needed to deliver continuing quality in health and social care through:

  • seeking certainty for those already working in the UK by advocating for the right of the current health and social care workforce originating from European Economic Area (EEA) members to remain here;
  • supporting the economic as well as social health of communities through the creation of opportunities for training and employment;
  • promoting employment policy and practice which ensures that the UK continues to be able to attract vital skills from Europe and around the world to work in health and social care.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive, NHS Employers, said: ‘This coalition of health and social care experts will be a shared voice, working together to ensure continuing quality in health and social care post-EU referendum.

‘The hard work begins now. First and foremost we need to influence and support the Government in a way which allows it to grant indefinite leave to remain for the 144,000 EU workers in health and social care. EU citizens are a hugely valued and appreciated part of the workforce caring for service users and patients and should be treated as such.’

Royal College of Nursing chief executive Janet Davies said: ‘Our health and social care services have been relying on hardworking and talented EU nurses and others for many years and will continue to do so. The first priority must be to guarantee the futures of these committed EU staff in our health and care services.’

‘In the longer term a comprehensive workforce strategy is needed to tackle the chronic shortage of health workers by investing in training more nurses and other health professionals domestically.’