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RCM responds to reported David Davis comments on Brexit and NHS staff

6 December, 2017

RCM responds to reported David Davis comments on Brexit and NHS staff

The Brexit Secretary David Davis has been reported as telling the Parliamentary Brexit Committee that he did not think that Brexit will lead to a shortage of staff in the NHS. Commenting, Jon Skewes, Director for Policy, Employment Relations and Communications at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “I sincerely hope the secretary is right but I have real doubts that this is the case as the evidence is already suggesting the opposite.

“Figures released by the Nursing and Midwifery Council showed that in June 2016 alone, twice as many midwives from elsewhere in the EU registered to practise in the UK than registered in the entire first six months of 2017. The flow of midwives coming in from the EU is all but dried up, largely because of the refusal of the Government to guarantee their status post-Brexit.

“What is needed from David Davis and the Government is a commitment that midwives and NHS staff from other parts of the EU can stay in the UK after Brexit.  The RCM believes that the Government should immediately confirm that EU midwives currently working in the NHS will have the right to live permanently in the UK. This should also apply to any who start working for the NHS before the UK withdraws from the EU.

“Tens of thousands of EU workers in our NHS are facing terrible uncertainty about their jobs and their futures, and these are people who make a huge contribution to the NHS. To lose them would be a significant blow to the NHS and its ability to deliver safe and high quality care.  These are people with homes and with families and they are left in a terrible state of limbo because of the Government’s failure to act. I call upon the Government again to give these NHS staff the right to stay so that they can face and plan their future with certainty.”

Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.



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