Health and social care bodies have formed a new coalition aimed at lobbying the government to allow EU workers to stay in the UK.
The Cavendish Coalition, which includes 29 health and social organisations, has been formed in the wake of the Brexit vote, Public Finance reports.
Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “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,” he added.
Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, a member of the coalition, called on the government to provide clarity over the future of EU workers saying uncertainty threatened future healthcare recruitment.
An estimated 6% of jobs in the care sector are filled by EU workers, representing 80,000 in England alone, according to coalition member Skills for Care.
Their proportion of the social care workforce doubles from the average 6% to 12% (20,000 jobs) in London and rises to 10% (21,000) in the rest of the south-east, but is as low as 1% (1,000) in the north-east.