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Deal or no deal – EU workers’ qualifications will be recognised

The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that health and social care workers from the EU or Switzerland with professional qualifications can continue to practise in the UK as they do now – even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.


Legislation introduced on March 7 means up to 63,000 NHS staff and 104,000 social care workers who 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:


* General Medical Council

* Nursing and Midwifery Council

* General Pharmaceutical Council

* General Dental Council

* Health and Care Professions Council


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 government is also encouraging EU workers to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. The scheme fully opened on 30 March and applications are now free. Those who have lived in the UK for five years or longer can 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 says: “My message to EU staff is clear – we all want you to feel valued and stay in the UK. Today’s announcement builds on our NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to recruit and retain a world-class workforce over the long term.”


Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers and Chair of the Cavendish Coalition, says: “We have been clear that we must continue to embrace the vital contribution of our talented colleagues from overseas in caring for our patients and communities.


“We very much welcome the news, as will employers and staff, that the UK will recognise the qualifications of EU professionals in a no-deal situation.”