Brexit and The Impact on the Social-Care Service
There is no doubt that Brexit will have a major impact on the provision of health and social care in England. As of the time of writing, we are now facing a new deadline to achieve for an EU withdrawal agreement of 31 January 2020, as was set on 28 October 2019.
Along with a general election fast approaching and uncertainty about how these events will impact our Brexit plans, and the increasing possibility of a no-deal Brexit ever-present, the Department of Health and Social Care have been busy creating guidance plans to help prepare care organisations to respond to any disruption to the delivery of health and care services.
The government has also produced and published their Operation Yellowhammer documents, which highlights the 'reasonable worst-case scenario' impact that a no-deal Brexit could have on the country.
Most notably for the medical and care industry is the risk of significant disruption to the supply of medicines as well as the increased instability that could occur in the adult social care market.
Should parliament ratify the current withdrawal agreement, we can move on to the next stage of Brexit, known as the transition period. This will run to December 2020. While the UK will still continue to be a member state of the EU during this time, the government and the EU council will work on agreeing on our future relationship and how trade and regulations will work.
However, should the with withdrawal agreement not be passed by 31st January and another extension isn't agreed, we risk entering a no-deal Brexit scenario where our existing relationships with EEA countries will come to an immediate end.
What does that mean for care providers?
This scenario would have a negative effect for the NHS and social care because it would create a shortage in the supply of medicines, price hikes for some medications and greater difficulty in bringing in care support staff from overseas.
There could also see a greater rise in demand for health and social care services for British emigrants currently living in the European Union that wish to return to the UK to access health care.
The knock-on effects of coming out of the EU with a no-deal Brexit could also see an increased demand on health and social care services as other impacts such as imports of food supplies being affected. This could negatively affect peoples health outcomes in both the short and long term.
The NHS is especially set to be hit hard with a further staff shortage in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Currently, there is a staff shortage of almost 100,000 people that are severely affecting the delivery of essential services, including nurses, doctors, care staff and other health professionals.
Currently, there are around 122,000 vacancies in adult social care, with about 9% of care worker jobs unfilled. These figures are expected to rise sharply in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Another potential consequence of a no-deal Brexit would be the economic impact. If a fall in the value of the pound happens, then EU workers coming to work in the NHS and social care may find that they will earn less here than in their home country.
How SWARME can help
While most people will remain concerned about the impact that Brexit will have on the health and social care system, especially if they need help for themselves or a loved one, we are here to help you with our expert services.
In the coming years, it may become very frustrating to get the help and support you need from the NHS or local authority health care services. This is why you could be better off sourcing your own support through SWARME for your day-to-day home care needs to help keep your independence while working with your doctor to make sure you are following their advice properly.
We can match you with a local carer to help you or your loved one to continue to live comfortably in your home and benefit from a care package that is perfectly tailored to fit your exact needs.
Find your perfect carer with SWARME or contact our friendly team on +44 782 577 4700 for our direct help today!