NHS could face ‘disaster’ with bad Brexit deal, warns CCG health chief

PUBLISHED: 15:28 15 October 2018

James Rimmer, chief executive of Weston General Hospital.

James Rimmer, chief executive of Weston General Hospital.

Archant

One of the most senior personnel in North Somerset’s healthcare service has warned a poor Brexit deal could have a ‘disastrous’ impact on services.

Julia Ross has been appointed as the new chief officer for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCGs.Julia Ross has been appointed as the new chief officer for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCGs.

Julia Ross, who is chief executive of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning group (BNSSG) said the UK’s split with the European Union would likely affect staffing arrangements.

She said: “Clearly Brexit for us – as I think it will be for local councils – in many of our services in workforce terms could be a real disaster if we get it wrong.

“We’re very much conscious of that.”

She made the comments at a joint health overview and scrutiny meeting in Kingswood, attended by councillors from the three areas.

Recruiting staff from mainland Europe has been a commonly used ploy by hopsitals – including Weston Area health NHS Trust – because of the lack of options at home.

Its chief executive, James Rimmer, recently admitted it was becoming harder to attract nurses from Europe because of the impending Brexit deal.

He said: “Many of our staff are from overseas, that’s international, but we also continue to recruit from Europe.

“That has slowed down as a result of Brexit – and indeed we’ve lost people.

“We couldn’t run the hospital without our European staff, or also without our home-based staff.”

Ms Ross admitted there are problems it needs to look into.

She said: “I think it’s a general concern.

“We’ve got a lot of people who have come from the European Union.

“All I can say is we don’t actually know how this will end.”

Figures show nearly 4,000 nurses and midwives from the European Economic Area left the Nursing and Midwifery Council register between 2017 and 2018 – a year-on-year rise of 28 per cent.

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