Care England concerned about the impact on social care of a ‘no deal Brexit’

Professor Martin Green OBE

Care England has said they submitted evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s inquiry into the overall impact of a ‘no deal Brexit’ on health and social care.

The people of Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016 during the EU referendum, with 51.9% of the vote.

Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England said: “The prospect of a no deal Brexit only accentuates the fragility within the social care sector.

“It magnifies potential uncertainties in the recruitment and retention of foreign workers upon which many independent community care providers depend, currently the sector includes 233,000 employees that have foreign nationality.

“With vacancy rates running at around 90,000 at any one time, this dependency is significantly important to the sustainability of the sector – particularly as it is predicted that by 2035 an extra 650,000 social care jobs will be required to keep pace with rising demand.”

The Independent reported earlier this year that Brexit will leave the UK short of 380,000 care workers by 2026.

“Notwithstanding the potential impact of Brexit upon the sustainability of social care, the sector is already at crisis point.

“Relentless pressures on funding, increases in the level and complexity of need and widespread challenges in the retention and recruitment of the workforce required are compounding at an exponential rate thus endangering the continuity of care of thousands of vulnerable people.

“The Government must address the immediate funding gap, estimated at £2.5bn by 2020, alongside putting in place arrangements that secure access to this highly skilled and valued workforce as an integral part of its Brexit negotiations,” said Professor Green.

Care England recently produced a document for its members on Brexit with a main focus on recruitment and the retention of international workers, including Registered Nurses with reference to the areas of the UK that may be most at risk.

Professor Green said: “In a sector characterised by low pay and negative stereotyping we are worried that a no deal Brexit would cut off, or restrict, the foreign workers that we need and depend upon.”

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