The contribution to the NHS by staff from elsewhere in the EU will be honoured by a new category in the 2016 HSJ Awards.
HSJ has decided to create the new award in response to fears that last week’s referendum result would mean NHS staff from the EU would no longer feel welcome in the service.
The award will seek to recognise and celebrate the work of any staff member who left their home in another EU country and now works in the NHS. The award is open to clinical, support and managerial staff and entries will take the form of nominations from colleagues.
The award will be presented in November alongside the other 23 categories of the HSJ Awards, the UK’s largest celebration of healthcare excellence.
HSJ editor Alastair McLellan said: “On Friday, NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh called on the NHS to make its EU staff feel welcome, adding that many of them would be anxious following the referendum result. We hope this award will also play an important role in making them feel valued.
“Concern must be especially high for staff working in areas of the country where a majority voted for Brexit. Given the wrangling we have already seen over the last 48 hours over how and if the UK will actually leave the EU, heaven knows what the next few months will bring. But I have no doubt the majority of NHS staff want their EU colleagues to stay. Indeed, they know the service would crumble in many areas if they left – or indeed if this vital supply of expertise and experience was cut off.”
Mr McLellan added: “The HSJ Awards recognise the contribution of all NHS staff, many from them from overseas. It is unusual for us to single out any one group like this – but with verbal, physical and social media attacks on EU immigrants already on the rise and many considering leaving the country – we felt it was important to make this clear declaration of support”.
If you would like to nominate a colleague for this award, please: set it out in no more than 500 words; include the nominees name, job title and employer along with your own name and contact details; email it to HSJAwards@emap.com. Entries must be received by Friday 29 July.
Message to our EU workforce
Chief Nursing Officer for England Professor Jane Cummings has moved to settle any unrest among EU colleagues following the Brexit vote saying:
“The outcome of the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union has, understandably, raised a number of questions about what this will mean for people from the EU currently employed in Britain.I wanted to take this opportunity to confirm to all EU nurses, midwives and care assistants working in England’s health and care system that you are valued and hugely appreciated. You are an integral and vital part of the health and care family, and your skills and compassionate care directly benefit patients, families and communities.
“Your vital contribution to our work together will continue; you are appreciated by me and, most of all, by those we care for.”