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Are NHS recruiters in Yorkshire putting jobs on hold post-Brexit?

During the recent EU referendum campaign, NHS funding and recruitment were a key discussion point

Here we look at the issues faced by NHS recruiters in Yorkshire post-Brexit and the impact that leaving the EU could have on the NHS as a whole.

During the course of the referendum campaign, those from the Leave camp made much of the fact that the money saved by the UK not being part of the EU could be used to provide additional funding for the NHS. A figure of £350m a week was mooted during the campaign, although this has now been revised down to £100m. Remain campaigners made much of the fact that the negative impact on the UK economy would mean less funding for the NHS rather than more in the event of Britain deciding to leave the EU.

The Leave campaign also focussed on the fact that EU migration to the UK has placed increased pressure on an NHS already under strain. What this failed to acknowledge is that there are over 55,000 EU migrants working in the NHS and 80,000 working in social care, which demonstrates the positive contribution that EU migrants make to the NHS.

Also not really covered during the campaign was what would happen to EU migrants who work in the NHS and social care field if Britain decided to leave the EU and the fact that this could cause a huge amount of pressure on a sector already struggling to recruit staff. In the light of the decision to leave the EU, this is a problem that recruiters in Yorkshire are now having to face.

Within a department in one Yorkshire hospital, EU nationals represent 15% of the workforce. The decision by the UK to leave the EU has caused uncertainty for those who are already here and working in the NHS; in addition, it has put the brakes on a recruitment drive by some NHS trusts in West Yorkshire to try to recruit and fill posts with staff from the EU.

Fears about the status of EU migrants when Britain actually leaves the EU has led some to worry about coming to the UK and others who are already in the UK to consider moving elsewhere.

Until Britain decides when to begin the process of leaving the EU, the uncertainty for EU migrants working in the NHS will remain; however, for now at least, they are free to stay here and continue to work for and contribute to our National Health Service.

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