Weston General Hospital says it will 'always have a place' for EU workers as it awaits Brexit deal
PUBLISHED: 12:25 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:14 15 September 2017
Weston General Hospital has said its 'valuable workforce' of more than 100 European workers from 18 different countries will always have a place within its walls, despite national uncertainty surrounding Britain exiting the European Union (EU).
Weston Area Health NHS Trust, which runs Weston-super-Mare’s hospital in Grange Road, employs 113 people from EU member states other than the UK.
Among the Trust’s EU workforce are 34 nurses, 25 doctors, 11 porters and multiple healthcare assistants, physiotherapists, pharmacists, housekeepers and medical professionals.
The workers account for around five per cent of the hospital’s total workforce and come from 18 different EU countries.
Poland is the country which has seen the most people head to Weston, with Polish people making up 15 per cent of the hospital’s EU workforce, followed by Italy and Spain.
But there are people from all over the EU working at the hospital, with people swapping Hungary, Bulgaria, Sweden, Denmark, Slovakia and other countries for life in Weston.
The hospital’s director of human resources Sheridan Flavin told the Mercury the hospital values all of its European workers, and added: “At this moment in time we don’t know what the Brexit deal is, so it’s quite difficult.
“We have hired a lot of overseas nurses and other staff in the past and we are still doing so – so in terms of the impact of Brexit it’s not something we have felt yet.”
Ms Flavin said specialist recruiters currently working to hire staff from abroad for the hospital say people living in other EU countries remain positive about the prospect of moving to the UK.
She added: “We certainly haven’t had our staff coming to us to say they are leaving or to say they don’t feel welcome here.”
When the referendum was held in June last year, and Britain voted to exit the EU, the hospital spoke with many of its staff and wrote to others to provide reassurance.
Ms Flavin said: “We told them we value them and we want them to stay, that they do a fantastic job and we are going to continue to support them and there will always be a job here for them – we have made that stance really clear.
“We know that this is a valuable workforce for us.”