Leaving the EU: Health and Social Care — [Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 19th March 2019.

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Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Inclusive Society) 9:30 am, 19th March 2019

The hon. Gentleman makes a valid point, but we have to compete for workers and to have an attractive package for people to come here to work, but if we take ourselves out of the game, we are no longer in the competition—we will have cut ourselves off. There are issues relating to retraining and getting people into the sector, but unfortunately the demographics are incredibly skewed against that happening, certainly in the short and medium term. I will come on to some of the statistics.

At the end of June 2018, NHS England had more than 100,000 unfilled posts. The NHS regulator has stated that such vacancies will become even more commonplace during the remainder of 2018-19. Both the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council have found that 40% of social care organisations report unfilled staff vacancies. There is no professional analysis out there that does not estimate that the demand for care will only increase in future. The King’s Fund, the Health Foundation and the Nuffield Trust have predicted that NHS England staff shortages could rise from 100,000 to almost a quarter of a million by 2030. That is more than one in six of service posts. At the end of last year, Care England estimated that by 2035 an additional 650,000 care jobs will be required just to keep pace with the demands of our ageing population.