Months after the nation has voted to leave the European Union, the country is still figuring out whether it was a good decision. Thankfully, the economic indicators have started to show signs that the worst could be over and that our economy is more resilient than experts originally thought. However, a question that lingers is how will Brexit affect healthcare in the UK?

The focus of the Brexit debate seems to have centred on the NHS and how much funding it will receive once the UK leaves the EU. But at Argante, we are concernted this will also have an impact on how care is delivered across thousands of nursing homes in the country.

The growing need for more healthcare professionals

There is already a shortage of tens of thousands of nurses and care professionals in the UK. This is expected to soar in the coming years. There are not just enough UK nationals becoming nurses and care assistants each year. This has attracted healthcare professionals from other parts of the world – most notably EU countries – to work here. If Brexit makes it more difficult for EU healthcare professionals to practice their trade here, we will have to attract more from Asian countries such as China, India and the Philippines to fill the gap.

Reductions in council budgets, a possible exodus of healthcare professionals to mainland Europe and an ageing population all point to yet more challenges for the care industry. Argante’s assessment is that the result could well be a greater dependence on healthcare staffing agencies in order to ensure that the right staffing levels are adhered to.

We believe the government needs to get its act together quickly in order to avert a significant healthcare crisis.