Oxford University Hospital will be covering the costs of settled status applications for its EU staff following Brexit.
Chief executive, Dr Bruno Holthof, who is himself Belgian, has written personally to all EU staff of the OUH to let them know that the Trust will cover the costs of their applications for settled status.
Applying for settled status will allow the EU nationals to continue living and working indefinitely in the UK, provided they have lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period.
Applications will open next March and the deadline is the following June. The cost of an application will be £65 and £32.50 for those under the age of 16.
Head of Communications of the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Matt Akid, told Cherwell: “We have taken this step to demonstrate to our EU staff that we value the huge contribution which they make to caring for patients in our hospitals.
“We want them to stay with us despite the current political uncertainty over Brexit.”
OUH has seen an increase in EU staff since the Brexit vote, with 11.37% of its staff made up of EU citizens in March 2016 to 12.47% in March 2018. Akid informed Cherwell that 19% of the OUH’s nurses and midwives are from the EU.
Akid states that the number of EU nationals that have joined has been greater than the number leaving.
In terms of other measures to support EU staff, Akid told Cherwell that the Director o Improvement and Culture “has held open meetings with EU staff to listen to their concerns”.
OUH also has a “range of key worker accommodation on our different hospital sites which, where possible, provide affordable and sociable housing for staff who are coming to work in Oxford from overseas.”
Other NHS trusts have followed suit, for example University College London Hospitals and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London.