Cavendish Coalition on mission to guarantee status of EU staff
Caring Times, November 2016
A coalition of 29 health and social care organisations has been created to help ensure a sustainable workforce supply and thereby maintain standards of care as Britain withdraws from the European Union.
The Cavendish Coalition says it will provide those who are leading Brexit negotiations with the expertise, evidence and knowledge required on issues affecting the health and social care sectors.
Danny Mortimer, chief executive, NHS Employers which is a member of the newly formed group, said the coalition would be a common voice influencing and lobbying on post-EU referendum issues that affect the social care and health workforce.
“It will in particular ensure that there is a robust evidence base to support workforce policy across social care and health,” said Mr Mortimer.
“This coalition of health and social care experts will be a shared voice, working together to ensure continuing quality in health and social care post-EU referendum. We will provide a focal point for engagement with relevant government departments and NHS arms-length bodies and regulators on the workforce issues arising from the Brexit vote.
“We will also work together to ensure we continue to promote opportunities for employment within social care and health, particularly in our local communities and only where necessary, internationally.
“The hard work begins now. First and foremost we need to influence and support the Government in a way which allows it to grant indefinite leave to remain for the 144,000 EU workers in health and social care.
“EU citizens are a hugely valued and appreciated part of the workforce caring for service users and patients and should be treated as such.”
The Cavendish Coalition has submitted evidence to a cross-party inquiry chaired by MP Gisela Stuart which will examine options for guaranteeing the status of EU nationals who are currently living in the UK. Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, another coalition member, said guaranteeing the futures of EU staff in health and care services was the group’s first priority.
“Allowing any ongoing ambiguity over their future is the wrong way of treating people who care for our friends and family every day, and continues to make recruitment and retention even more difficult,” said Ms Davies.
“In the longer term a comprehensive workforce strategy is needed to tackle the chronic shortage of health workers by investing in training more nurses and other health professionals domestically.
“The coalition gives us an opportunity to address these issues collectively for the long term future of our patients and the populations we serve.”
In a joint statement Care Providers Alliance chair Frank Ursell and Skills for Care chief executive Sharon Allen said the coalition was a welcome opportunity for the 19,300 employers in adult social care, the 1.43 million care workers and the workforce that supports children’s services who support citizens with a wide range of care and support needs around the nation.
“The coalition brings together representatives from social care and health seeking to ensure that we continue to offer seamless, quality person centred services following the decision to leave the EU,” they said.
“With around 80,000 jobs filled by workers with EU nationality who make a valued contribution to adult social care in England, employers and their workers are uncertain of the impact of the decision to leave.
“All the adult social care organisations who have signed up to this coalition can use their knowledge to help British Future inform the post-Brexit decision making process to ensure that millions of people in our communities, and their families and carers, can continue to access quality social care and health provision.”
The Cavendish Coalition:
Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
Association for Real Change
Association of UK University Hospitals
British Medical Association
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Mental Health Network
National Association of Primary Care
National Care Association
New NHS Alliance
NHS Clinical Commissioners
NHS European Office
Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care
Registered Nursing Home Association
Royal College of Nursing
Skills for Care
The National Care Forum
The Royal College of Midwives
The Welsh NHS Confederation
United Kingdom Homecare Association
Voluntary Organisations Disability Group