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Hospital boss tells European NHS staff in Suffolk and Essex to make preparations for Brexit

PUBLISHED: 16:31 02 October 2019

Staff at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals received an email about their job security after Brexit Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Staff at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals received an email about their job security after Brexit Picture: PHIL MORLEY

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The boss of Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals has written to European staff explaining how Brexit may affect them.

ESNEFT chief executive Nick Hulme sent the email as a show of support for EU staff at the NHS Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNESNEFT chief executive Nick Hulme sent the email as a show of support for EU staff at the NHS Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The email from East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) chief executive Nick Hulme came as a result of staff feeling "unsettled and unsure" about their job security post-Brexit.

Their fears come amid prime minister Boris Johnson's stated intention to pull the UK out of the European Union (EU) on October 31 - with or without an exit deal.

ESNEFT says the email was sent as a show of support for EU staff during the uncertainty around Brexit.

In the email, chief executive Mr Hulme said: "Firstly, we do know that all health and care professionals with a recognised qualification registered in the UK before 23:00 on 31 October 2019, or whatever date the UK leaves the EU, will continue to be registered after this point and able to work in the UK subject to having the correct residency/visa."

Mr Hulme added the government has previously confirmed workers' rights will be protected, although warned there is a possibility UK employment law could change long term.

The email continued: "When the UK leaves the EU, the UK and the EU negotiating parties have agreed that EU citizens who arrive in the UK before the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020 (or later should we not leave the EU on October 31) will be able to continue to live and work here as they can now."

Workers from the Republic of Ireland will be unaffected by the Brexit issue thanks to existing arrangements between the UK and the Republic.

Likewise, EU staff who have already been naturalised as British citizens will also be unaffected.

Mr Hulme's email explained staff who do not have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The scheme, open to EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens, gives individuals and their families the right to continue living in the UK after June 30 2021.

Rebecca Driver, director of communications and engagement at ESNEFT, said: "We are committed to supporting all our EU colleagues and a big part of this is making sure they are aware of the EU Settlement Scheme.

"Our Chief Executive's letter to all EU colleagues last week was the latest message in our ongoing communications and support for them."

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