The Welsh NHS confederation has shared the following Brexit at a glance update.

(January 2020)

The UK has now left the EU

“We will now enter the transition period until the end of December this year. Over the next 11 months not much will really change; reciprocal healthcare rights will be preserved, freedom of movement will continue, and the UK will remain members of EU networks. But a lot still needs to be accomplished to determine what a post-Brexit relationship with the EU looks like.

“We will continue to support members during this period and will be maintaining our FAQs, this newsletter (which will be reduced to fortnightly publications) and we will keep updating you on our policy lobbying work. 

“Rumours and misinformation surrounding what happens after 'Brexit Day' are causing concern for some people. This article considers the cold hard facts on what Brexit will mean for health and care. 

“This week, as predicted, saw a flurry of Brexit activity ahead of the departure date. We participated in a meeting of the Brexit Health Alliance, where we discussed how the health and care sector as a whole can best influence the UK Government in the next phase of negotiations to ensure patient safety remains a top priority.   

“The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) released their anticipated commission of the proposed £30,000 salary threshold and a potential points-based immigration system once free movement ends. We welcome the recommendation to lower the salary threshold of £25,600, however we continue to be concerned that it does not go far enough to address the workforce challenges in social care despite recognition of the problem. If social care is unable to recruit internationally, the sector will simply not be able to meet the growth in demand, leading to significant implications for the health and wealth of the nation. We will continue to work closely with our health and social care colleagues in Wales to respond to any future immigration proposals put forward by the UK Government.

“We value all EU and EEA nationals working in the health service and the contribution they make, not just as professionals, but to the communities they live in. We want to encourage and support EU nationals working in health and social care to apply for the settled status scheme. The scheme is free meaning there will be no charge for applications. For complex cases www.eusswales.com details a range of third sector organisations that can provide free assistance.

“Wales will continue to be a nation with strong levels of global engagement through their International Strategy and ensuring everyone living in Wales feel welcomed and valued.”

If you have any questions about what the implementation period will mean for health and social care? Please refer to Welsh NHS Confederation  FAQs, or send in any questions to Brexitfaqs@welshconfed.org.

Please visit the Welsh NHS Confederation Website for more information and resources on current developments. 

Settled Status – Vulnerable Adults and Children

Discussions are taking place between Welsh Government, the Home Office and the Court of Protection around the complex issues involved in identifying vulnerable adults who may need support in applying for settled status.

Once these issues are understood, a ‘burden assessment’ will need to be undertaken to grasp what this will be mean for local authorities and social workers.

A ‘burden assessment’ is being undertaken in relation children, where a local authority is identified as corporate parent. This is a less complex issue than vulnerable adults, so the numbers of children involved and the potential impact on social workers should be more easily quantified.

Our understanding in BASW Cymru, is that practice guidance for social workers in supporting children to apply for settled status, will be developed.

We are liaising closely with Welsh Government and will keep our members up to date as things develop.

Preparing Wales

Read the latest information from the Welsh Government on how best to prepare for a no deal Brexit, suitable for sharing with colleagues and service users to help address any concerns they might have:

Useful links

The Welsh government and ADSS Cymru have set out useful information on what they are doing to promote the interests of Wales through Brexit.