What will Brexit mean for West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust?

Team surgeon at work in operating room. PPP-141119-162832001
Team surgeon at work in operating room. PPP-141119-162832001

One in seven clinical staff at West Herts Hospital are still in limbo over Brexit, as they are citizens of EU states.

477 out of 3,463 clinicians, which includes nurses, doctors and surgeons, are EU citizens.

But their status is still unclear, as Brexit will mean they have to apply for ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status to stay in the UK after December 2020.

Peter White, from the People’s Vote South West Herts and Hemel group, said: “This is not only a shame but it’s damaging to our own health, our own NHS.

“This is an example of an issue which wasn’t understood before the referendum, and could indicate that leaving is a mistake.”

The figures, which have been revealed by a Freedom Of Information request, also suggests that there has been an exodus of clinicians who are from EU states.

321 clinical staff from EU nations have left West Herts since the referendum.

This is almost identical to the number of current vacancies – 324.

Mr White added: “This is a sad reflection on the unwelcome climate that we’ve created in our country, towards people who came here to work hard doing jobs that don’t just improve our lives but save them.”

EU citizens will not be able to apply for ‘settled’ or 
‘pre-settled’ status until February.

It will cost £65 per adult, and £32.50 for under-16s.

And the trust has said that ALL medical isotopes it uses are sourced from the EU, through the Euratom Treaty which the UK is exiting as part of Brexit.

Medical isotopes are used in the diagnosis of cancers and other diseases, and cannot be stockpiled as they degrade quickly.

1,890 procedures have been undertaken using medical isotopes.

Paul Da Gama, director of human resources at West Hertfordshire Hospitals, said: “Since the referendum, we have seen a number of staff from EU countries leave the trust which saddens us deeply.

“We meet regularly with our staff who are EU citizens to reassure them that we value them greatly and to discuss what we can do to support them.

“In recent months the turnover of EU staff has slowed down and we continue to recruit from EU countries, and from all over the world, so that our hospitals can continue to have a thriving global community.”