‘We’ll get this’ – trust’s promise to EU nurses facing a settled status bill after Brexit

What Oxford University Hospitals is prepared to do to keep its EU staff

What Oxford University Hospitals is prepared to do to keep its EU staff

Oxford University Hospitals trust employs a high proportion of nurses from the EU. Picture: Alamy

A hospital trust could face a bill of up to £150,000 after agreeing to reimburse settlement status fees for all its European Union staff after Brexit.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), which has the highest proportion of European nurses outside London, has reassured staff it will support them to stay in the UK after Brexit.

EU nurses and midwives practising in the UK will have to apply for settled or pre-settled status if they wish to remain in the UK after 31 December 2020 – and pay a fee of £65.

Investing in the workforce

The Scottish Government has pledged to reimburse the same fee and other NHS employers in England are making plans to do the same.

Some 21% of OUH's nurses are from the EU, according to recent analysis by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, data from which show that of 133 nurses who left the trust in the past year, 108 were from the EU.

The most recent workforce figures showed the trust employed 713 EU nurses out of a total of 1,579 EU staff.

'We value our colleagues' 

OUH chief executive Bruno Holthof, who is Belgian, has written to all EU staff to tell them the trust will cover the costs of their settled-status applications.

Bruno Holthof, OUH chief executive

The trust will reimburse each EU national £95 to cover the £65 application fee and added tax and national insurance.

Dr Holthof said: 'Regardless of Brexit, we want all EU nationals working at OUH to stay with us and the trust board’s decision is a symbol of our commitment to our valued colleagues.'

A Home Office spokesperson said: 'The cost of applying to the scheme is less than the cost of renewing a British passport, and EU citizens have until June 2021 to apply.'

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