European practice staff will have their qualifications acknowledged in the UK whether the country leaves the EU with or without a deal, the Government has confirmed.
Legislation introduced by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on 7 March 2019 will allow health and social care professionals to continue to practise in the UK as they do now.
All regulatory bodies for the health and social care sectors, including the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, will accept the training EU nationals completed in their home countries, the DHSC said.
EU staff who will want to register to work in the UK after Brexit day will also see their qualifications recognised, it added.
The Government also guaranteed that there will be no need for over 60,000 European NHS staff to re-apply for their current roles after the UK leaves the EU and that employers will not need to change EU staff contracts even in a no-deal scenario.
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘Every day across the health and social care system, our EU colleagues and friends make a difference to millions of lives, and this vital legislation means they will be able to continue work here, whatever the Brexit outcome.
‘My message to EU staff is clear – we all want you to feel valued and stay in the UK. Today’s announcement builds on our NHS long-term plan’s commitment to recruit and retain a world-class workforce over the long term.’
NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer welcomed the news and said he hopes that a similar approach towards UK healthcare professionals will be taken by other European countries.
He said: ‘We have been clear that we must continue to embrace the vital contribution of our talented colleagues from overseas in caring for our patients and communities.
‘We very much welcome the news, as will employers and staff, that the UK will recognise the qualifications of EU professionals in a no-deal situation.’
NHS staff were among the first to be asked to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, which is now free and open to all EU professionals living in the UK.
The Government encouraged EU nationals working in the UK to apply for the scheme, which re-opened on the 30 March.
A version of this article was first published on our sister publication Healthcare Leader.