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Challenges to Healthcare Industry Post Brexit

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health And Social Care
Wordcount: 1955 words Published: 25th Jul 2017

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The report will address three challenges in which the health care industry within the UK might have to deal with after the referendum to leave. It will also include the impact of those three challenges within the global staff in the health care industry. These will be done by linking the impact of these challenges to the relevant examples in the global staffing.

At first, the report will be described by giving an introduction of the health care industry within the UK where the industry might lose many staffs after Brexit as most of the doctors and nurses in the healthcare industry are from EU. These will be followed by what the report will cover thoroughly.

Secondly, analysing and identifying the issues after Brexit will be showed in the report. There will be three challenges in relation to global staffing within the health care industry which are ‘immigration’, ‘flexible of labour market’ and ‘re-expatriation’. Furthermore, the challenges will be linked to the impact on global staff by using theories to understand the issues.

Lastly, the three challenges will be put together and explained on the main body of the report and given an overall conclusion for health care industry within the UK.


This report has been prepared to understand what “Brexit” is and how it has affected the UK since the majority voted “out” on the referendum held on the 23rd June 2016. The main purpose and objective of this report is to analyse the effectiveness of the recruitment and the selection process within the healthcare industry in the UK where they will be challenged and enforced to change (Smith, 2017).

This will correspondingly go in further details on how the Brexit vote affected one of the HR practices “staffing” within the global talent management in the health care industry. It will mainly address on how it will affect most of the staffs from EU who work for the NHS (Bulman, 2016).

The report will also analyse the findings and recommendations of the health care industry by researching through the main health care provider in the UK. Furthermore, the findings will be provided using news, journals and websites which will be compared to the theoretical model of best practices as defined by the CIPD and other researchers and theoretical models.

The recommendations will be made after researching and analysing the post referendum stage and the likely outcome of how Brexit will impact in the future. Overall, this report solely attempts to provide a clear understanding of “Brexit” and how it affected the UK’s healthcare industry.


As a result of Brexit, many industries in the UK has been affected, whereas this report will mainly focus on how there has been many challenges for health care industry and how it has an impact on global staffing. This report will be analysed by identifying the three main challenges for the healthcare industry which is ‘immigration’, ‘re-expatriation’ and ‘talent planning’.

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One of the challenge for global staffing is ‘immigration’ within the health care industry. When the UK was still within the EU, the EU’s policies on freedom of movement allowed the healthcare industry in the UK to recruit many workers from throughout the EU where EU citizens could freely move between EU and the UK to work and live. In the healthcare industry, approximately 55,000 workers comes from EU countries (Fenton, 2016). However, due to the impact of Brexit there is an uncertainty that the right to freedom of movement would still apply to the EU citizens (Rankin, 2016). Some of the workers in healthcare industry are in the category of ‘third-country nationals’ who are on their visa working in the UK. After the Brexit, it is likely that people from ‘third-country nationals’ would be majorly affected than EU citizens working in the UK. Due to this, the impact on global staff of talent planning in the healthcare industry occurs. There will be lack of staffs due to the immigration issue and health care industry should decide on the recruitment methods on whether to buy or make talent. Thoroughly, the health care industry might be at their best to make talent in the short-term. It is better to focus on the internal labour markets for health care industry after Brexit, because this will increase the commitment of staffs in the job and providing them more security so that they will not be afraid of the result of Brexit. During the crisis of Brexit, healthcare industry would still want to keep staff as most of the EU staffs within the industry are doctors and nurses who provides health and care service for the people in the UK. To minimise the negative outcome which will start to affect after the finalization of Brexit, healthcare industry should prepare in advance about managing and retaining staffs.

The second challenge that will affect the health care industry would be ‘flexible labour market’. This means that firms have greater freedom to hire workers when demand increases, and also to fire them when demand decreases. However, in the case of health care industry there has been a shortage of staff to provide service for people in the UK (Mundasad, 2017). Furthermore, referendum to vote could lead to having more problems than before on hiring staffs in the healthcare industry because many staffs such as doctors and nurses are hired from EU countries (Triggle, 2016). In the UK, there is a ‘points-based system’ applied on non-EU nationals to work which creates recruiting workers other then EU countries difficult to do so (Landou,2016). If the Brexit is finalised and the EU’s freedom of movement removed this could result in healthcare industry having a huge impact on a restriction of recruiting employees therefore leading in having a shortage of staffs. These issues will impact the ability of employees to bring in the right skills that is need by the healthcare industry. To overcome this issues, healthcare industry could sent out employees on an international assignment to develop skills and knowledge.

The last challenge of healthcare industry after Brexit is ‘re-expatriation’ where the industry would have to take to consider. The issues about freedom of movement as mentioned above, British citizens who have choose to work or live elsewhere in Europe fears their healthcare and right to remain will disappear post-Brexit (Carroll, 2016). Moreover, UK expats working in the EU could become more difficult if host countries ask them to obey restrictive rules when it comes to permits and setting up businesses. This may lead up to losing their automatic right to work within the EU area and need a permission to stay as a result of new policy after Brexit. As a result of this, the impact on global staffing within the healthcare industry will be affected. Thoroughly, if UK expats living and working in the EU countries are to return to the UK following the post-Brexit, it is possible that it would become more difficult for new expats to find work (Burton, 2016). Moreover, UK expats working and living in the EU countries are given free healthcare but could lose right to free healthcare once the Brexit is complete (Parfitt, 2016). Expatriates provides many benefits for industries which includes greater parent control and right set of skills. It is also seen as providing opportunities for personal and professional development and career advancement. With the post-Brexit, the expats are disrupted on performing their roles and tasks resulting in the failure of expatriates. Specifically, re-expatriations have difficulties adapting when they are back to the UK. For example, after the referendum many expats might have to go back to their country resulting in experiencing a reverse culture shock by getting used to working and living in another country they had been sent to work (Skyes, 2011).The healthcare industry will have experienced the loss of cooperation and investment on expats sent to work in other EU country. Overall, ‘re-expatriation’ is going to be a challenge for healthcare industry after Brexit mainly within staffing managing.


This report overall aimed to understand how Brexit affected the UK as a whole and the negotiations to solve between the UK and the EU. Three different challenges were identified and analysed orderly for the healthcare industry and finding a way to minimise the risks. The first challenge dealt with ‘immigration’ and how it impacted the talent planning and the way of making talent within the healthcare industry.

In the second challenge,

Lastly, the third challenge refers to the ‘re-expatriation’ where British citizens living in the EU returns back to the UK after the referendum vote to leave that affected their role and tasks.

Overall, the healthcare industry should take into consideration of these challenges mentioned above in the report to plan ahead to avoid problems managing global staffing after Brexit.


Fenton, S. (2016). The government has admitted the NHS could struggle without EU staff following Brexit. [online] The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/nhs-could-struggle-post-brexit-without-eu-citizen-staff-department-of-health-officials-admit-a7204551.html [Accessed 4 Feb. 2017].

Carroll, L. (2016). ‘It terrifies me’: Britons in Europe on how Brexit is going to affect them. [online] the guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/15/britons-expats-europe-how-brexit-affect-them [Accessed 9 Feb. 2017].

Parfitt, T. (2016). Expats in Spain could LOSE right to free healthcare after Brexit vote, PM says. [online] Express.co.uk. Available at: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/683708/expats-Brexit-EU-referendum-Spain-Mariano-Rajoy-Jean-Claude-Juncker [Accessed 10 Feb. 2017].

Rankin, J. (2016). Freedom of movement: the wedge that will split Britain from Europe. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/06/freedom-of-movement-eu-uk-brexit-negotiations-theresa-may [Accessed 10 Feb. 2017].

Burton, L. (2016). Brexit: What does it mean for expats, here and in the EU? – BBC News. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36606847 [Accessed 12 Feb. 2017].

Skyes, A. (2011). Reverse culture shock: What, when, and how to cope. [online] Expatica.com. Available at: http://www.expatica.com/nl/moving-to/Moving-home-Reverse-culture-shock_104957.html [Accessed 13 Feb. 2017].

Landou, P. (2016). Would Brexit make it harder to hire EU workers?. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2016/mar/29/would-brexit-make-harder-hire-eu-workers-referendum [Accessed 12 Feb. 2017].

Mundasad, S. (2017). NHS staff shortages: Why so persistent? – BBC News. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38640068 [Accessed 13 Feb. 2017].

Triggle, N. (2016). Brexit ‘will make NHS staff shortages worse’ – BBC News. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36664094 [Accessed 13 Feb. 2017].


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