Tory and Labour migration elections pledges fail to address NHS and social care staffing crisis

A report today by the independent healthcare think tank The Nuffield Trust, highlights the potential staffing risks to healthcare and social care if migration from EU were to fall. Currently, almost 25% of hospital staff and 20% of health and social care staff were born outside the UK. The NHS and social care sectors already have significant staffing shortages and vacancies.  We have highlighted in previous blogs that the demand for  care will increase in the future, and there’s an estimated 100,000 vacancies for staff for the NHS in England alone.

It is noted that both the Tories and Labour support ending freedom of movement from the EU, post-Brexit.  The Guardian today highlights that this is likely to alienate medical and health professionals from moving to the UK.  In 2010 there was a downturn in non EEA nationals coming to the UK following tightening of immigration rules, but the NHS got round this by hiring more EU staff.  Post-Brexit that is unlikely to be an option.

Staffing pressures of this nature in our view  is likely to lead to increased demands on services and thereby increased claims against the healthcare and social care sector.  Claims are likely to arise from service users who may receive sub optimal care due to staffing shortages. Employees in this sector are likely to effected by these shortages which may manifest into stress/overwork claims?.

Further information from The Nuffield Trust can be found here and The Guardian piece is here.


Written by Jennifer Johnston, associate, BLM

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