EU Exit Operational Readiness Guidance

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The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement, has published the EU Exit Operational Readiness Guide to help health and social care organisations prepare for a no deal scenario.  

The guidance advises that employers should undertake local Brexit readiness planning, local risk assessments, and plan for potential wider impact to service delivery. Actions for employers within workforce are as outlined below. 

  • The government does not expect large numbers of EU health and social care staff to leave the UK around 29 March 2019. However, trusts are asked to monitor the broad impact of Brexit on staffing and service levels and develop contingency plans to mitigate the impact of any potential workforce shortfalls.
  • Employers are also advised to consider implications of staff shortages across the full health and care system, such as in adult social care, and how this might impact care delivery in your service and plan accordingly. 
  • Employers are encouraged to continue to publicise the EU Settlement Scheme to EU staff. The scheme will be fully open by March 2019 and in a no deal situation will remain open until the 31 December 2020.
  • Inform your staff of updates to the recognition of professional regulation:
    • health and care professionals whose qualification has been recognised and who are registered in the UK before 11pm on 29 March 2019, will continue to be registered after this point
    • health and care professionals who apply to have their qualification recognised in the UK before 11pm on 29 March 2019, will have their application considered under the current arrangements
    • health and care professionals with an EU/EEA or Swiss qualification who apply after 11pm on 29 March 2019 will be subject to future arrangements. 

A national operational response centre has been set up by DHSC with support from NHS England, NHS Improvement and Public Health England to lead on responding to any associated disruption to the delivery of health and care services. An operational support structure for EU exit will operate at local, regional and national levels to allow rapid support on emerging local incidents and escalation of any issues into the operational response centre.

If any risk assessments on workforce give cause for concern, it is asked that providers notify their regional NHS EU Exit team. Details of your contact can be found in the full EU Exit Operational Readiness Guidance

For more information on Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme, visit our dedicated web pages

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