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How will Brexit affect adult social care?

Posted on 14th July 2016

It is well known that there are 55,000 EU migrants working in the NHS, as doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, support workers and in admin.

It is less well known that there are also a significant number of EU migrants working in adult social care.

These carers work with the most vulnerable people in society, from elderly people with dementia to adults of all ages with learning disability, autism and complex physical needs.

EU workers make up an estimated 6% of jobs in the social care sector in England as a whole but this percentage is far higher in London.

This work is poorly paid and demanding. A good support worker makes a huge difference to the quality of life of a severely disabled person.

Nick Hornby’s ex wife wrote in the Guardian of her experiences of the care provided for her autistic son. Her article was published shortly before the referendum result.

It has been very hard to recruit support workers in adult social care for many years and the problems with staff shortages will only get worse if there are limits placed on the numbers of EU workers who can live and work here.

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