With the UK leaving the EU on the 31st January 2020, and us now being in the ‘transition period’ which, at present, is likely to last until the end of December 2020, the true effects of Brexit can’t yet be fully understood or the outcomes known. We do know currently that from January 2021 our new relationship with the EU will begin.
The Pressure Is On
Should the Brexit transition period end before an EU trade deal has been negotiated (a ‘non-negotiated outcome’), there may be extra pressures on health and social care services, and many organisations and providers are working hard to ensure that they are fully prepared to be able to continue giving the full services they currently do. This may be a time to look into how to find your care, so that you could start to plan for later needs. The Care Funding Guidance from the Live In Care Hub (www.liveincarehub.co.uk) may help with this.
Why Live In Care could be beneficial
The Brexit process, the trade deals and law changes coming as a result of the negotiations should not interfere with the services offered by Live in care providers. The availability of supplies for personal care and the availability of medications needs to be maintained, which should be tricky, but if you already have a live in carer, their work should not change, meaning your standard of care would be maintained.
The pressures on carers
However, if you don’t already have a carer, there could be restrictions on finding one to suit you. A parliamentary report indicates that there are “over sixty thousand people from EU countries outside the UK working in the NHS and around ninety thousand in adult social care”. The parliamentary report recognises that the support of these workers is crucial to the Health and Social Care structure in the UK. Quite simply without them the system would fall over. It is therefore extremely important early on to ensure that any negotiations secure their rights to remain and work in the UK, to avoid a massive reduction of the workforce we currently have.
The full impact of the rights of workers to remain in the UK after the transition period has expired are not clear and will not be so for many months. It is clear however, that the Government will need, as a minimum, to protect the level of service we currently have and ensure we are in the best position going forward to maintain and ultimately improve upon our Health and Social Care services.
Government has been working to ensure that during the transition period and ongoing there is no disruption to the supply of medicines, medical devices, instruments and equipment in both hospitals and other health and social care settings.
Whilst there are months left of negotiations on Brexit, the need to retain staff, have plans for the future development and retention of staff, the access to supplies and equipment is going to be one of the top priorities for our government.