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What does Brexit mean for the UK social care workforce? Perspectives from the recruitment and retention frontline.

Read, R. and Fenge, L-A, 2019. What does Brexit mean for the UK social care workforce? Perspectives from the recruitment and retention frontline. Health and Social Care in the Community, 27 (3), 676-682.

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Read_et_al-2019-Health_&_Social_Care_in_the_Community.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12684


The UK's departure from the European Union (Brexit) is likely to result in greater immigration and employment restrictions on European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) nationals within the United Kingdom. EU/EEA citizens constitute a significant proportion of the current social care workforce. Research evaluating the impact of Brexit on social care has highlighted potentially severe future workforce shortfalls, but has not engaged in detail with the experiences of social care personnel involved in day-to-day recruitment and retention activities. This article explores how social care managers evaluate Brexit's prospects for future workforce sustainability, through the prism of their organisation's workforce requirements. This qualitative study incorporated in-depth semi-structured interviews and questionnaire surveys with domiciliary and residential care managers. Data collection focused on an urban conurbation in south-west England, with demographic characteristics likely to make post-Brexit recruitment and retention in social care particularly challenging. A key finding is that, irrespective of whether they employ EU/EEA workers or not, research participants have deep concerns about Brexit's potential impact on the social care labour market. These include apprehensions about future restrictions on hiring EU/EEA nurses, as well as fears about increased competition for care staff and their organisation's future financial viability. This article amplifies the voices of managers as an under-researched group, bringing their perspectives on Brexit to bear on wider debates on social care workforce sustainability.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Funding information Bournemouth University
Uncontrolled Keywords:Brexit; care homes; domiciliary care; management; migration; social care workforce
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:31520
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:04 Dec 2018 11:20
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:13


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