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TUC analysis details risk to NHS and social care in England from loss of EU workers

The TUC has yesterday (Wednesday) published analysis that provides a regional breakdown of where NHS and adult social care services are most reliant on workers from the EU.

  • 145,200 NHS and adult social care workers in England risk losing their right to live and work in the UK after Brexit
  • Services in London, South East and East of England most vulnerable to loss of vital staff
  • Government should unilaterally confirm right to remain in the UK for EU residents, says TUC

The TUC says that the government’s refusal to confirm that EU workers can stay is putting NHS patients at risk, along with older and disabled people who use social care.

The regions where services would suffer most if EU workers are no longer allowed to remain after Brexit are London (13% care workers and 9.8% NHS workers are EU migrants), the South East (10% care workers and 6.1% NHS workers), and the East of England (8% care workers and 6.0% NHS workers).

With cuts to bursaries for health professionals leading to fewer UK workers training for key roles in the NHS, the TUC says Ministers need a plan to prevent staff shortages. The plan must set out how current workers will be retained, as well as how more UK workers will be recruited. And it should stop care work being a byword for low-paid, zero hours jobs with little opportunity for progression.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “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.

“The prime minister should guarantee EU citizens living and working in Britain the right to remain in the UK – and she should do it now, ahead of negotiations. It’s the right thing to do. And it will regain some of the goodwill Britain needs to negotiate the best possible Brexit deal.”

Notes to Editors:

  • EEA migrant adult care workers and NHS workers in English regions

Region

Adult social care

NHS

Total number workers (rounded)

Number

% of workforce

Number

% of workforce

East of England

11,700

8%

6,554

6.0%

18,300

East Midlands

6,300

5%

2,741

3.0%

9,000

London

21,600

13%

18,528

9.8%

40,100

North East

1,400

2%

1,089

1.5%

2,500

North West

6,000

3%

5,098

2.7%

11,100

South East

22,300

10%

9,542

6.1%

31,800

South West

11,200

8%

5,450

4.2%

16,700

West Midlands

5,500

4%

3,242

2.5%

8,700

Yorks and Humber

4,200

3%

2,741

2.1%

6,900

All England

90,200

7%

54,985

4.5%

145,200

Notes on chart:

  1. Data sources are ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, 2016’ – Skills for Care, and ‘Staff groups by nationality and HEE region, September 2015’ – NHS Digital.
  2. These figures provide estimates based on allocating Wessex Health Education area numbers of staff on a 50/50 split between the South East and the South West regions.
  • All TUC press releases can be found at tuc.org.uk/media
  • TUC Press Office on Twitter: @tucnews

 

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