EU staff will have their qualifications and registration recognised in the UK, whether we leave the EU with or without a deal, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced today, as a result of legislation that has been introduced by the Department of Health and Social Care.
The changes will mean health and social care workers with professional qualifications from EU institutions can continue to practise in the UK as they do now, guaranteeing their ability to work in the NHS.
This means up to 63,000 NHS staff and 104,000 social care workers who qualified in the EU will have their training and experience accepted by all regulatory bodies for the health and social care sectors, including:
• General Medical Council;
• Nursing and Midwifery Council;
• General Pharmaceutical Council;
• General Dental Council; and
• Health and Care Professions Council.
Employment contracts will not need to be changed if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and staff won’t have to re-apply for their current positions after exit day.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“Every day across the health and social care system, our EU colleagues and friends make a difference to millions of lives, and this vital legislation means they will be able to continue work here, whatever the Brexit outcome.
“My message to EU staff is clear – we all want you to feel valued and stay in the UK. Today’s announcement builds on our NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to recruit and retain a world-class workforce over the long term.
“My priority is to make sure high standards are maintained across the healthcare system and patients continue to receive the high-quality care they deserve – this legislation helps ensure that will continue to be the case.”
Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers and Chair of the Cavendish Coalition of social care and health organisations.
“We have been clear that we must continue to embrace the vital contribution of our talented colleagues from overseas in caring for our patients and communities.
“We very much welcome the news, as will employers and staff, that the UK will recognise the qualifications of EU professionals in a no-deal situation.
“We would hope for similar confirmation of recognition for those with UK qualifications working in the EU.”
Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England said:
“Our EU staff make an incredible contribution to the NHS, touching the lives of patients and families as doctors, nurses, midwives, care staff, allied health professionals, porters and a whole host of other professions.
“I therefore welcome this news and hope that it goes some way to reassure EU staff that your expertise and skills are valued and that you matter to us.”
The Government is also encouraging EU workers to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme that re-opened on the 30 March.
The scheme is now free and those who have lived in the UK for five years or longer can apply for ‘settled status’, whilst those who have lived in the UK for under five years will apply for ‘pre-settled status’.
For EU staff who wish to register in the UK after EU exit day will have their qualifications largely recognised in the same way that they do now further details are available from the relevant professional regulators.