The Department of Health has released a report stating there could be 28,000 fewer workers in the care sector in England in five years after leaving the European Union if employers were no longer able to recruit European Economic Area (EEA) staff.

With the expected onset of rising life expectancy and increases in the number of people living with one or more long-term conditions, there will be a huge demand on the workforce for this sector.

The report was a response to the call for evidence issued by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and it says women will be forced to pick up the slack. The MAC has been asked to advise the government on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the EU alongside what the immigration system should look like after Brexit. The guidance is due to be published in September.

The evidence says that “migration will need to continue to play a vital role in meeting future demand and providing a means of ensuring flexible supply in response to changes in demand for health and care”.