News

16.02.17

European NHS staff ‘frightened and anxious’ over Brexit uncertainty

Uncertainty over the UK’s exit from the European Union is causing “serious instability” within the NHS workforce, a leading official from the BMA has warned.

Speaking at a conference organised by the Westminster Health Forum, BMA council chair Dr Mark Porter emphasised that addressing the risks that Brexit posed to EU staff was essential to safeguarding and reassuring the NHS workforce.

Doubt surrounding the future working status of European staff and medical students is causing many to be “frightened and anxious”, something that could cause problems for the morale of the entire workforce.

In an Ipsos MORI survey undertaken by the Royal College of Surgeons based on responses from 3,500 members, for example, more than half of staff listed low morale as the main issue they face at work – prompting concern of a ‘winter morale crisis’ in the NHS.  A separate survey also discovered that just under half of the public viewed the NHS as the biggest issue facing the country, narrowly beating Brexit.

Speaking at the conference yesterday, Dr Porter said: “Some of the medical workforce don’t have the permanent right to remain at the moment, and the BMA believe that in order to give security to our workforce, they should be given that right to remain, perhaps as a one-off measure and regardless of the current five-year thresholds.

“We also think it’s very important to address the serious instability expressed by people who have arrived here to qualify as medical students.”

In the past, the BMA has called for the government to prioritise the health service when it enters negotiations about the UK’s exit from the EU by granting all EU nationals working in the NHS permanent residency.

CEO of NHS England Simon Stevens has also echoed the same message of the importance of EU staff, whilst influential think tank IPPR has recommended granting European staff free citizenship.

But despite ongoing concerns, health secretary Jeremy Hunt recently appeased the NHS by guaranteeing that the government will continue to focus on improving the health and care system in its Brexit negotiations and deal “positively” with the consequences of leaving the EU.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

Peter Ashcroft   02/03/2017 at 16:35

I believe that currently resident EU staff should be allowed to stay here as long as they wish. The 'Sword of Damoclese' is no joke.

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

Make doing the right thing easy

11/10/2017Make doing the right thing easy

Kay Currie, professor of Nursing & Applied Healthcare Research, ‘... more >
STAR: an innovative app for speech therapy

11/10/2017STAR: an innovative app for speech therapy

Dr Stuart Cunningham, a senior lecturer in Human Communication Sciences at ... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >

last word

The Refugee Doctor Initiative

The Refugee Doctor Initiative

Terry John, co-chair of the BMA & BDA Refugee Doctors and Dentists Liaison Group and chair of the union’s international committee, talks about a brilliant initiative that is proving mutual more > more last word articles >

interviews

Tackling infection prevention locally

04/10/2017Tackling infection prevention locally

Dr Emma Burnett, a lecturer and researcher in infection prevention at the U... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Our Health Heroes: NHS awards ceremony unveils shortlist

18/10/2017Our Health Heroes: NHS awards ceremony unveils shortlist

With the NHS facing unprecedented demand and difficult working conditions, it’s incredible that the workforce across the country still delivers great care to patients ev... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

October 2017

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
25 26 27 28 29 30 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31 1 2 3 4 5

featured articles

View all News