Spe­cial NHS team to deal with po­ten­tial fall­out from Brexit

● Grampian board cre­ate task force to as­sess risks

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - BY KIERAN BEATTIE

NHS Grampian has pre­pared a spe­cial task force com­posed of key mem­bers of the health board’s lead­er­ship to deal with the im­pact of Brexit.

The health board has pre­pared a Se­nior Lead­er­ship Team, fea­tur­ing its di­rec­tors of fa­cil­i­ties and es­tates, fi­nance, phar­macy, and the in­terim op­er­a­tional di­rec­tor of work­force to sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of con­tin­gency plans for when the UK leaves the EU next year.

The team has been put to­gether to as­sess the risks posed to ar­eas such as staffing, treat­ment ac­cess, reg­u­la­tion, and re­search.

Yesterday at a meet­ing of the health board, the po­ten­tial im­pli­ca­tions of Brexit were dis­cussed, be­fore mem­bers agreed to move for­ward with prepa­ra­tions for March 29.

An NHS Grampian state­ment said: “While the im­pact on health and so­cial care ser­vices of leav­ing the EU is im­pos­si­ble to fore­cast, it is clear that a num­ber of im­por­tant is­sues will need to be re­solved.

“In terms of prepa­ra­tion, all NHS boards have been tasked with con­sid­er­ing EU with­drawal is­sues, along­side other fac­tors, which could po­ten­tially im­pact on busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity, and make use of ex­ist­ing re­silience plan­ning agree­ments.”

One key area the team will as­sess is the ef­fect of Brexit on staffing lev­els.

The state­ment added: “The EU’s pol­icy of free­dom of move­ment and mu­tual recognition of pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tions within the EU means that many health and so­cial care pro­fes­sion­als cur­rently work­ing in the UK have come from other EU coun­tries.

“This in­cludes 55,000 of the NHS’s 1.3 mil­lion work­force, and 80,000 of the 1.3 mil­lion work­ers in the adult so­cial care sec­tor.

“It is widely ac­knowl­edged that NHS Grampian con­tin­ues to face chal­lenges in a num­ber of key ar­eas re­gard­ing the re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion of per­ma­nent staff, and that sim­i­lar problems and chal­lenges ex­ist in the com­mu­nity and so­cial care sec­tor.

“Un­til the UK ex­tracts it­self from its obli­ga­tions un­der EU treaties, the pol­icy on free­dom of move­ment re­mains un­changed.

“How­ever, given the cur­rent short­falls be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced in both the health and so­cial care sec­tors, it will be im­por­tant there is clar­ity on the abil­ity of EU na­tion­als to work in health and so­cial care roles in the UK.”

“A num­ber of is­sues will need to be re­solved”

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