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Aderinola Bunmi
Science Laboratory Technology
Aspirant, Nigeria.

South Essex hospitals have reassured staff with European citizenship they will be given help to remain in the UK.

Basildon, Southend and Mid Essex Hospitals, which are in the process of merging, have all suffered from staff shortages in recent years amid increasing demands on services.

Latest figures show the three hospitals currently have more than 1,000 vacancies.

Mid Essex has the greatest numbers of number of nursing vacancies with more than 750 staff needed, while Southend needs to recruit a further 154 nurses.

Basildon has seen a small increase in vacancies up from 249 in October to 256 in November.

The uncertainties over what will happen to EU citizens following Brexit has likely added to the problems facing NHS managers who are drawing up measures to help staff stay in the UK.

Tom Abell, deputy chief executive of Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group, said: “As the UK has entered an 11-month transition period there is currently no impact of EU Exit regarding recruitment.

“The current rules on trade, travel and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period. We are supporting all our colleagues who are EU citizens to apply for settled status which will mean they will be able to carry on living and working in the UK after December 2020.”

Mr Abell added: “Across Mid Essex, Southend and Basildon hospitals we continue to see both overseas and newly qualified staff join our trusts, as a result of this and reducing numbers of staff leaving we continue to see our vacancy rate reduce.

“As we head towards merger, our hospitals are working together on a range of initiatives to attract nurses from the UK and overseas. We also have excellent links with local higher education providers, helping recruit newly qualified nurses and are taking steps to work with schools and colleges to encourage school leavers to consider a career within the health service.”

Those who wish to stay in the UK can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled status. They only need to prove they’ve lived in the UK for one day in the last six months to qualify. People can apply for pre-settled status as long as they move to the UK before 31 December 2020.

People granted pre-settled status can live and work in the UK for up to five years.

Source: https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/18213376.hospitals-aim-hang-nurses-eu-citizenship/

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