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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Organisations urged to respond to Brexit impact on social care consultation

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The move by the UK Government follows a campaign led by the Scottish voluntary sector

Social care organisations are being urged to have their say on the impact Brexit is having on their operations.

The UK Government has confirmed it has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to undertake a review into how the ending of freedom of movement has impacted the adult social care sector.

The move follows a campaign led by Camphill Scotland, the ALLIANCE and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) – backed by organisations from across the UK - which called for an independent review into how leaving the European Union is affecting organisations.

Social care organisations are facing a recruitment crisis, exacerbated by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. A recent report from Scottish Care revealed 90% of organisations feel recruitment and retention of staff is problematic, and 40% of potential recruits do not show for their interviews.

Westminster revealed earlier this summer that a review of adult social care and the impact the ending of freedom of movement has had on the sector has been commissioned. MAC will investigate the impact on the workforce, examine visa options for social care workers and look at long term consequences for the sector.

Organisations can respond to the plans until 29 October.

More than 55 organisations from across the UK backed the Address and Assess campaign, led by SCVO, the ALLIANCE and Camphill Scotland.

Anna Fowlie, chief executive of SCVO, said: “It is vital that the UK Government addresses the real impact that Brexit is having on the social care sector. The support for our campaign has shown the desire for a review to be carried out, and I’d urge those in the sector to take part in this consultation.”

Camphill Scotland chief executive Emma Walker said: “The MAC’s evaluation is a welcome development. It will provide a significant opportunity to highlight the valued contribution which employed staff and volunteers from across the World make to the Camphill communities and to charities across the UK, and the obstacles which the ending of freedom of movement has created in the health and social care sectors, and in other settings, for charities across the UK.”

ALLIANCE chief executive Professor Ian Welsh said: “Many health and social care organisations – including ALLIANCE members – rely heavily on EU workers and could not continue in their present form without that support. Our research with communities across Scotland has highlighted that people who use social care support and services have concerns about future availability due to Brexit.

“It’s crucial the voices of people and organisations with experience of social care in Scotland are heard, to make sure that any changes to the immigration system do not damage the availability or quality of social care support people receive.”