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Wales and Scotland Health Secretaries raise serious concerns about EU Settlement Scheme

Wales’ Health Secretary Vaughan Gething and Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman MSP have issued a joint letter to the UK Government Minister of State for Immigration, Caroline Nokes MP to raise serious concerns that family members of staff working in the health and social care sector are not being included in the upcoming pilot of the Home Office EU Settlement Scheme.
Saturday 27 October 2018

Both Health Secretaries believe including family members in the scheme would potentially help remove some of the uncertainty for EU staff at this unsettling time. It would also send a clear signal of how much the contribution they make to health and social care services across the UK is valued.

In the letter, the Secretaries state their view that the scheme as currently proposed is much more likely to deter, rather than to encourage, our EU staff from taking the opportunity to clarify their immigration status ahead of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2019.

They have called for the UK Government to reconsider their decision or the Welsh and Scottish Government will not actively promote the scheme to health and social care staff in Wales and Scotland.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said:

“We want to be able to provide a level of certainty for EU staff and their families working in the health service in Wales. They deserve nothing less and we pay tribute to those who come from the EU and beyond who provide care and life-saving treatment to the people of Wales.

“These proposals are simply unacceptable as they stand. They add to a feeling of huge frustration fuelled by the severe lack of meaningful engagement with us on the wide range of challenges facing the NHS across UK post-Brexit. 

“Unless the UK Government changes its mind and makes the decent decision we will not be promoting the scheme in Wales although it will be open to health and social care staff in Wales to apply for settled status as part of the pilot if they choose to do so.”

 

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Health and social services 27 October 2018 Programme for Government - Healthcare Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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