GHP / Social Care Awards 2019 17 , UK Healthcare Market While there are still many details to be ironed out over the UK’s impending departure from the European Union, one key focus remains on freedom of movement. The general lack of information has led many private and public healthcare organisations in the country to question whether they will be able to retain and attract the staff they need throughout 2019 and beyond. Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, highlighted how Brexit could affect the NHS Recruitment Key Issue For UK Healthcare Market As Brexit talks continue with little chance of a definitive deal in sight, the UK’s healthcare market’s core challenge over 2019 will be attracting and retaining qualified staff. and how it would need to be protected against healthcare staff shortages. “Patients must not suffer as a result of the Brexit process. Even if there is no deal we cannot have no agreement about how to protect patients in the UK and across Europe. “We are therefore calling on both the UK government and the European Commission to guarantee patient safety whatever happens. That means free movement of medicines, free movement of medical devices and supplies for as long as it takes to resolve these concerns. “While we welcome no-deal preparations made by the UK Government, this is an issue for both London and Brussels. We have seen the EU is willing to make arrangements in a number of areas – including finance. We now need to see the same urgency from both sides on health. “This is an unprecedented situation for the health service. Of course, the NHS can adapt to emergencies, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek to avoid them. No deal and no arrangements to protect patients is simply not acceptable and could put lives at risk.” In response to the staffing challenges which the NHS and wider healthcare market could face over the coming months, the Minister of State for Care recently helped to launch off a home care company’s latest campaign to encourage more people to consider a career in care. MP Caroline Dinenage has pledged her support for the Home Instead Senior Care ‘You Can Care’ campaign which raises awareness of the opportunities to work in care and highlights how fulfilling a role it can be. “Care work is a hugely rewarding career which has a real impact on people’s lives, supporting them to enjoy their later years,” she said. “It’s great to see a home care business which is so passionate about helping older people age well. Quality care like this plays a crucial role in enabling older people to stay living healthily and happily at home for longer.” The rollout of ‘You Can Care’ 2019 follows the success of last year’s campaign which saw hundreds of people using the hashtag #YouCanCare on social media to share inspirational stories about caring. It culminated in the first UK awareness event called ‘You Can Care’ Week which aimed to dispel the myths around working in care and celebrate those working in the sector. Since launching the campaign in January 2018, Home Instead Senior Care has recruited 5,500 CAREGivers across its 195-office strong franchise business. The company specialises in caring for older people at home and is expert in dementia care plus end of life and respite care. Currently, the charity Skills for Care estimates that 8% of adult social care roles are vacant, which equates to approximately 110,000 vacancies at any one time. Looking ahead, whatever happens with Brexit, the UK healthcare industry will continue to focus on recruitment over the coming months. The NHS began its 2019 recruitment campaign with a range of adverts designed to entice new candidates, but moving forward both the private and public sectors will have to band together to lobby the government for greater clarity on movement rights so that they can retain and attract the best possible health and social care staff over the years to come.