A CHP survey of care home leaders and staff has revealed deep fears over the impact of Brexit on the sector’s workforce.
The survey was carried out as talks between the UK and EU reached an impasse this week, raising the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
Only 16% of those polled believed the UK Government would reach a Brexit agreement with the EU, against 42% who said there would be no deal, a further 42% remained uncertain.
More pertinently, almost 85% of those surveyed said Brexit would have a significant impact on the social care workforce, with a further 41% saying their business had not done enough to recruit non-EU workers.
Respondents were also strongly critical of the Government’s approach to Brexit, with two-thirds of people saying it had not done enough to provide access to non-EU workers.
People polled also remain unconvinced about Government efforts to boost UK recruitment into the sector with three-quarters of respondents saying its national recruitment campaign would fail to help fill the shortfall left by EU nationals.
Andy Hood, Partner in Regulatory and Trade team at Fieldfisher solicitors, said: “I note from the results that the real problem is the lack of certainty about the outcome of negotiations and the lack of support from the Government to ensure the sector can be properly staffed after Brexit – either through a recruitment campaign or to provide access to workers from non-EU countries. Given the Government has said that it intends to offer EU nationals no special access to the UK job market post-Brexit these difficulties are only likely to be exacerbated in the future.”
Sarah Ellson, Co-Head of Regulatory law at Fieldfisher solicitors, added: “Alongside the social care workforce challenge, which rightly appears as the key concern for the sector, in the event of a no deal Brexit suppliers of medical devices and clinical consumables (alongside pharmaceutical companies) have been asked to make arrangements to facilitate continued supply. This is yet another area where providers may need to make their own inquiries with suppliers and arrangements to avoid the safety and quality of continuing care being compromised.”