Responding to the National Assembly for Wales External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee report on Changes to freedom of movement after Brexit – the implications for Wales, Nesta Lloyd-Jones, Assistant Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said: “We welcome this report by the External Affairs Committee which recognises the concerns that we have raised on behalf of members around the impact that the current proposals for a post-Brexit immigration system could have on future recruitment across health and social care.
“If the current proposed salary threshold were already in place, nearly 53% of EU professionals working in the health service would not fulfil the UK Government’s requirements. These professionals include Nurses, Midwifes, Psychologists, Speech and Language and Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Radiographers and Pharmacists.
“It’s true to say we may find some benefits in the future around producing more homegrown health professionals, but this training takes time. The current proposals threaten to create a skills gap and may increase the pressure on an already stretched workforce. Health and social services in Wales need a fair immigration system which reflects our need to recruit internationally in order to fill the vacancies in the system.
“The NHS in Wales values the contribution EU/EEA nationals and staff members from around the world make to our health and social care system, not just because of the vital expertise they provide, but the value they add to our communities. We will continue to raise awareness of the Settles Status Scheme across the NHS and encourage and support EU nationals to apply for the Scheme.”