The UK’s withdrawal from the EU must not be allowed to negatively impact on patient outcomes, or the health and care system’s ability to staff services safely. The dilution of employment rights will further add to already extreme pressure on our existing nursing workforce, and their ability to deliver safe and effective patient care. Coupled with this is the uncertainty of immigration status for overseas nurses which also adds a concerning dimension of complexity and risk to patient safety. We need further clarity on the settled status policy announced by the Government. While the announcement of a ‘settled status’ route for EU nationals wanting to stay in the UK was welcome, we still have serious concerns about how this system will work and its cost.
To ensure that our health and care settings have enough trained staff to deliver patient care, we are calling for each UK country to have legislation for the accountable provision of safe nurse staffing levels.