RCP parliamentary briefing: Implications of the EU referendum

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The Implications of the EU referendum briefing has been prepared by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) ahead of the House of Lords debate (21 July), sponsored by Baroness Watkins of Tavistock, on the implications of the EU referendum result on ensuring safe staffing levels in the NHS and social care services.

The briefing is based on the experiences of the RCP’s 32,000 members and fellows, who are predominantly hospital doctors.

Key points and figures

  • Doctors from the EU make up a significant proportion of the NHS doctor workforce (about 10%).
  • The UK is already facing significant recruitment problems – 40% of advertised consultant posts remain unfilled.
  • The number of medical trainees has decreased 2.3% within the last year. This is creating significant implications in the future delivery of care, particularly as the needs of patients increase.
  • The government must guarantee that doctors from the EU will continue to be able to work in the NHS.
  • The NHS workforce is already under-doctored and the government must ensure that all doctors feel valued and supported to deliver excellent patient care.