Brexit and the migrant care workforce: Future policy directions.

Findings from the second round of Delphi Surveys of UK experts

Professor Shereen Hussein and Dr Agnes Turnpenny


Migrant workers have been vital in helping to fill labour gaps locally and regionally and across different types of social care services in the UK over the last few decades. Brexit and the UK’s decision to end free movement for EEA workers was expected to bring significant new challenges to the sector as a whole, and homecare in particular. In 2019, we launched a two-wave expert (Delphi) survey to explore what the future role and composition of this workforce could look like after Brexit within the context of broader sectoral challenges. In March 2020, the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK and created unprecedented challenges for social care. The second (final) round of the survey was conducted in the summer of 2020. It set out to identify points of consensus about major considerations associated with recruitment and retention in homecare in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. This short report summarises the second-round results of the expert survey and sets out some primary considerations and policy directions for the homecare sector at a time of uncertainty.

About the authors

Shereen Hussein

Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. For the Sustainable Care programme, Shereen leads the team researching Migrant care workers in the UK.

Agnes Turnpenny

Dr Agnes Turnpenny has a background in social policy and social care. She is predominantly a qualitative researcher with an interest in quality of care, user experiences and outcomes, and comparative policy research in social care.

In the Sustainable Care programme, Agnes works in the team researching Migrant care workers in the UK.

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