St John’s Hospital (Paediatric Services)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 27th September 2018.

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Photo of Jeane Freeman Jeane Freeman Scottish National Party

Mr Paterson is undoubtedly correct about that reported 87 per cent decline. No one in the chamber can argue with the fact that the impending Brexit, whatever form it may take—whether it is no deal or we do not know what kind of deal—is of serious concern in a number of areas across health, not least of which is our workforce. The issue is not just about whether people want to come and work in this country, although we have benefited greatly from that; it is also about the mutual recognition of qualifications, but the UK Government still has not reached a decision on that matter. There is a great deal of uncertainty for our current workforce who come from the European Union and for others who we would wish to join us. Equally, there is uncertainty among staff from this country who might wish to go elsewhere, which we would benefit from if they train and work abroad for a few years and then come back, bringing that expertise with them. All of that contributes to the environment of uncertainty in which we in the health service—in our boards and nationally—are doing our best to plan what we might do in those deeply unfortunate circumstances.