The report, Post-Brexit: Priorities and issues for voluntary sector disability organisations, is published by the VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disability Group) and comes three months after the historic vote to leave the EU on June 23.
The publication, launched at the VODG annual conference in London on 22 September, follows the establishment of the Cavendish Coalition, of which VODG is a member (see notes to editors). The coalition of health and social care organisations aims to influence and lobby on post-EU referendum issues.
Amid the uncertainties created by Brexit, the VODG report sets out issues for organisations to consider when planning strategy, services and workforce. It examines the ramifications of different visions of Brexit – so called “hard Brexit” and “soft Brexit” – depending on how close a relationship the UK retains with the EU and its access to the single market.
Today’s publication builds on an initial report released by the group in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit result. Based on a consultation of its members in July, that original piece of work set out the risks facing the sector.
Today’s new VODG report considers the impact of Brexit in terms of:
- Economy – will Brexit produce a sustained downturn that impacts on social care funding? UK charities received over £200 million from EU funding in 2014, but leaving the EU means they will no longer have access to this money.
- Domestic issues – domestic policy may become the poor relation to Brexit.
- Workforce – there is concern for the future of the 80,000 EU nationals involved in the delivery of care and support in the UK (see notes to editors).
Social care providers are already operating in a difficult financial climate with a growing need for services but dwindling resources. As recent work by Association of Directors of Adult Social Services underlined, the social care precept is not meeting current costs and directors are set to find savings of £941 million in this year alone (see notes to editors).
VODG chief executive, Dr Rhidian Hughes, said: “Post-Brexit, probably the biggest single challenge is the prolonged uncertainty created by the vote on 23rd June. While many concerns may seem intangible, it is vital that social care providers urgently explore the impact of the vote to leave on the future sustainability of services. Today’s report, alongside our earlier publication shortly after EU referendum, underlines our commitment to work on the issue of how Brexit affects the social care sector.”