Brexit fears for health and social care

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Impact on sector could be devastating say organisations 

17th November 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Calls for an independent review of Brexit’s impact on health and social care are being backed by a raft of leading UK groups.

The move is in response to concerns from third sector organisations which receive European Union (EU) funding for health, care and medical research.

The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, Disability Wales, Camphill Scotland, Coalition of Care Providers Scotland, Genetic Alliance UK, Inclusion Scotland, Scottish Care and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations are all backing the call.

More than 43 organisations have also signed in support of an amendment to the EU withdrawal bill from Scottish MPs Joanna Cherry, Dr Philippa Whitford and Martyn Day which proposes a review of the impact of leaving the EU on the four health and social care systems operating across the United Kingdom.

The amendment is likely to be heard in the House of Commons over the coming weeks as MPs consider a raft of changes to the legislation which will lead to the UK leaving the EU.

Ian Welsh, chief executive of the Alliance, said: “Alliance members have raised significant concerns about the impact Brexit will have on their operations after the 2019 leaving date.

“By supporting an independent review of its impact we hope to highlight the impact of leaving the EU for organisations supporting people with long term conditions and ways of addressing these concerns.”

Neil Henery, director of Camphill Scotland, said: “Camphill was founded in Scotland by Austrian refugees and remains very much a European and international movement. 170 (or 68%) of the 251 short-term volunteer co-workers currently living and working in Camphill communities in Scotland are from other EU countries.

"Without them Camphill could not continue in its present form to the great detriment of the over five hundred people with learning disabilities and other support needs who depend on us for their care, education and support.”

And Rhian Davies of Disability Wales, added: “Health inequality is a major challenge in Wales due to the high proportion of disabled people in the population and higher than average levels of poverty.

"It is vital that steps are taken to ensure that the situation in Wales is not made worse following changes in the health and social care workforce following Brexit.”