Health and social care after EU exit (medicines and services)

Last updated: 5 February 2019

The UK may be leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019.

EU exit (also known as Brexit) may have an effect on the way you live in Scotland.

This may include changes to health and social care.

EU exit has not happened, and many of the details are not yet known or are regularly changing. This page gives the most up-to-date information, but it will be added to and changed over time, so please keep checking back for updates.

UK citizens

If you currently live in Scotland and are a UK citizen, EU exit will not affect your current rights to health and social care, including GP and hospital services. However, in a 'no deal' situation there may be extra pressure on these services.

If there's a 'no deal' situation, there may also be delays at the UK border, which may affect the availability of:

  • some medicines
  • medical devices (instruments and other equipment used in hospitals and other health and social care settings)
  • clinical consumables (disposable or short life goods used in hospitals and other health and social care settings)

While it may not be possible to completely avoid any impact on patients and other service users, the UK Government is putting arrangements in place that seek to limit it.

The Scottish Government is working closely with the UK Government on these arrangements to make sure the needs of patients and other service users in Scotland are covered.

More information will be added here as soon as it is available.

EU citizens

EU citizens currently living in Scotland will continue to be able to access health and social care.

Many EU citizens currently work in health and social care settings in Scotland and their contribution is greatly valued.

EU citizens should be able to continue working as they do now, but will need to apply for settled status before 30 June 2021.

The EU citizens living in Scotland page gives the latest information on this, including details on how to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, and on the Scottish Government's new advisory service for EU citizens.

More information

More details on health and social care after EU exit will be added to this page as new information is available.

Meanwhile, there are a number of other sites you can check for updates:

The content on this site is correct as of today's date and is based on the information available at this time. Regular updates will be made as the EU Exit process develops. In the event of a 'no deal', additional advice and information will be given on this site. Please continue to check back for updates.