17 JAN 2019
Immigration and the NHS
Thank you for taking the time to email me about immigration and the NHS.
I understand the concerns about how Brexit may impact the NHS and have spoken about this often. EEA nationals also play an increasingly important role in social care, where the numbers employed grew by 68 per cent, or 30,600 people, between 2011 and 2016.
It is likely that there will be provision for doctors and nurses coming to the UK after Brexit, albeit at extra cost and bureaucracy, if the government—as it has indicated—follows the guidance of the Migration Advisory Committee. But the effect on the social care workforce and those who rely on them for care will be particularly significant because of the salary threshold of £30,000.
Just over 5% of the regulated nursing profession, 16% of dentists, 5% of allied health professionals, and around 9% of doctors are from elsewhere within the EEA. We cannot afford to lose or further demoralise those who have given so much to our health service. That so many colleagues now feel unwelcome, as a result of the divisive and xenophobic rhetoric of the last campaign, shames us all.
Thank you for getting in touch and I will be continuing to push for a People's Vote.
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