European Qualifications (Health and Social Care Professions) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:45 pm on 7th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Crisp Lord Crisp Crossbench 12:45 pm, 7th March 2019

My Lords, some concerns about nursing were raised in the committee by my noble friend Lady Watkins. She cannot be in her place today, but I understand that those concerns largely related to the points the noble Baroness, Lady Jolly, just made about Spanish and Irish nurses who will be disadvantaged by these regulations. The Spanish nurses will be disadvantaged for the reasons just mentioned—their time in the UK will not count towards their qualifications in Spain—and the Irish nurses because, for the first time, they will have to pay a fee for registration. Could the Minister assure us that steps are being taken to do something about those two points? Both of them affect groups of nurses from different countries, but they profoundly affect us. We should remember this in the context of the fact that 33,000 EU nurses are registered in the UK.

I will also make a wider point. Health staffing is one of the most vulnerable of all the Brexit issues—particularly if no deal is put in place. I note in the regulations that there will be a review within two years. However, I suspect a whole range of unforeseen issues will arise in the short term. Could the Minister let us know what arrangements will be in place to monitor those, and what liaison she and colleagues will have with employees, employers and staff organisations to monitor and deal with the issues that arise within that period?