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Coalition of health and social care experts on mission to guarantee status of EU staff

A coalition of 29 health and social care organisations has been created to ensure sustainable workforce supply and thereby standards of care are maintained as Britain withdraws from the EU.

The Cavendish Coalition aims to provide those leading Brexit negotiations with the expertise, evidence and knowledge required on issues affecting the health and social care sectors.

The newly formed group will be a shared voice which influences and lobbies on post-EU referendum issues that affect the social care and health workforce.  It will in particular ensure that there is a robust evidence base to support workforce policy across social care and health.

The Cavendish Coalition has 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 is united in its belief that EU citizens working in the UK’s social care and health sectors should remain.

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

1.         Supporting the economic as well as social health of the communities we work within, through the creation of opportunities for training and employment 

2.         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

3.         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.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of 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.

“We will provide a focal point for engagement with relevant government departments and NHS arms-length bodies and regulators on the workforce issues arising from the Brexit vote.

“We will also work together to ensure we continue to promote opportunities for employment within social care and health, particularly in our local communities and only where necessary, internationally.

“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.”

Janet Davies, RCN chief executive and general secretary, commented, “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.

“Allowing any ongoing ambiguity over their future is the wrong way of treating people who care for our friends and family every day, and continues to make recruitment and retention even more difficult. 

“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.

“The coalition gives us an opportunity to address these issues collectively for the long term future of our patients and the populations we serve.”

Care Providers Alliance chair, Frank Ursell, and Skills for Care CEO, Sharon Allen, added, “The coalition is a welcome opportunity for the 19,300 employers in adult social care, the 1.43 million care workers and the workforce that supports children’s services who support citizens with a wide range of care and support needs around our country.

“The coalition brings together representatives from social care and health seeking to ensure that we continue to offer seamless, quality person centred services following the decision to leave the EU.

“With around 80,000 jobs filled by workers with EU nationality who make a valued contribution to adult social care in England, employers and their workers are uncertain of the impact of the decision to leave.

“All the adult social care organisations who have signed up to this coalition can use their knowledge to help British Future inform the post-Brexit decision making process to ensure that millions of people in our communities, and their families and carers, can continue to access quality social care and health provision.”

The Cavendish Coalition:

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Margaret Willcox, Vice President

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Professor Dame Sue Bailey DBE FRCPsych, Chair

Association for Real Change, Lisa Lenton, England Director

Association of UK University Hospitals, Peter Homa CBE, Chair

British Medical Association, Dr Mark Porter, Council Chair

Care England, Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Karen Middleton CBE, Chief Executive

Mental Health Network, Rebecca Cotton, Director of Mental Health Policy

National Association of Primary Care, Dr Nav Chana, Chairman

National Care Association, Nadra Ahmed OBE, Chairman

New NHS Alliance, Merron Simpson, Chief Executive

NHS Clinical Commissioners, Julie Wood, Chief Executive

NHS Confederation, Stephen Dalton, Chief Executive

NHS Employers, Daniel Mortimer, Chief Executive

NHS European Office, Elisabetta Zanon, Director

NHS Partners, David Hare, Chief Executive

NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, Chief Executive

Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care, Heather Moorhead, Director

Pharmacy Voice, Elizabeth Wade, Director of Policy

Registered Nursing Home Association, Frank Ursell, Chief Executive

Royal College of Nursing, Janet Davies, Chief Executive & General Secretary

Shelford Group, Sir Michael Deegan, Chair

Skills for Care, Sharon Allen, Chief Executive

The National Care Forum, Vic Rayner, Executive Director,

The Royal College of Midwives, Professor Cathy Warwick CBE, Chief Executive

The Welsh NHS Confederation, Vanessa Young, Director

UNISON, Christina McAnea, Head of health

United Kingdom Homecare Association, Bridget Warr CBE, Chief Executive

Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, Professor Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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