Costs covered for Horton hospital EU staff applications to stay after Brexit

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Dr Bruno Holthof
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Dr Bruno Holthof

EU staff at the Horton General Hospital and hospitals in Oxford will have their settled status application fees paid for after Brexit.

Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Dr Bruno Holthof has written to all EU staff saying they will pay the £65 application fee (£95 in gross salary terms) if they wish to apply for settled status.

Dr Holthof, who is Belgian, said: “Like me, more than 1,500 staff working for OUH are nationals of other European nations.

“As the UK’s planned withdrawal from the EU – Brexit – on March 29, 2019, draws closer, I want to let you know that, regardless of Brexit, we want you to stay with us at OUH.

"The contribution of staff from the EU, and indeed all over the world, is one of the strengths of the NHS in general and OUH specifically.

“Regardless of Brexit, we want all EU nationals currently working at OUH to stay with us and the Trust Board’s decision to cover the costs of the application fee for settled status is a symbol of our commitment to our valued colleagues.”

Settled status means there is no time limit on how long EU citizens, who have been living here continuously for five years, can remain in the UK - also known as indefinite leave to stay in the country.

In advance of Brexit on March 29, the UK government has committed to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members currently living in the UK.

This includes the right to live here, work here, and access public services such as healthcare and benefits.

The Home Office is testing the EU Settlement Scheme through a series of pilots ahead of the public launch on March 30, next year.

The second phase of the pilot, which runs until December 21, includes NHS staff and is testing the application process that EU citizens and their families will use when the scheme opens.