The Department of Health and Social Care has given assurances that health professionals from the European Union (EU) with professional qualifications can continue to practise in the UK after Brexit, whether or not an exit deal is agreed.
Legislation introduced on 7 March 2019 means health and social care workers with professional qualifications from EU and Swiss institutions who are currently registered can continue to practise in the UK. The guarantee means up to 63,000 NHS staff qualified in the EU or Switzerland can have their training and experience accepted by all regulatory bodies for the health and social care sectors, including the General Medical Council (GMC).
“Employment contracts will not need to be changed if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and staff won’t have to reapply for their current positions after exit day,” the Department has assured in a statement.
The government is also encouraging EU workers to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. The scheme fully opened on 30 March. The scheme allows people who have lived in the UK for five years or longer to apply for ‘settled status’. Those who have lived in the UK for under five years can apply for ‘pre-settled status’.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Every day across the health and social care system, our EU colleagues and friends make a difference to millions of lives, and this vital legislation means they will be able to continue work here, whatever the Brexit outcome.”
He said his message to EU staff is clear; “we all want you to feel valued and stay in the UK”.