After the Brexit referendum: an exploration into how EU migrant care workers for individuals with dementia make sense of their role and experience

Hypolite-Bishop, Lauren (2021) After the Brexit referendum: an exploration into how EU migrant care workers for individuals with dementia make sense of their role and experience. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

The landmark referendum that occurred in the United Kingdom (UK) on 23rd June 2016 was poised to have considerable impact on the health and social care sector. The debate surrounding the referendum was dominated by the need to retain qualified healthcare professionals from the European Union (EU), and tended to overlook European migrants (EUMs) working in unqualified direct care roles. However, in the context of rapid population ageing and the increased prevalence of dementia, European migrant care workers (EUMCWs) have occupied a prominent role in meeting the longstanding recruitment and retention issues in social care sectors. This study sought to explore the impact of the referendum on EUMCWs’ sense of identity and wellbeing post-referendum, with an underlying aim to give voice to them in a time when their future rights are uncertain, an aim that is relevant to the ethos of counselling psychology (CoP).

Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was utilised to explore the semi-structured interviews conducted with seven female EUMCWs aged 25-54. The analysis of verbatim data drawn from the interviews revealed three interconnected superordinate themes ‘being a EUMCW’, ‘the referendum’, and ‘the future?’, with ten sub-themes.

Despite recruitment issues in the social care sector reassuring some participants that they would be able to remain in the UK, the outcome and political handling of the vote inherently created a certain degree of uncertainty for participants, which impacted their sense of agency and belonging. Participants’ narratives were inconsistent, suggesting they drew on a number of strategies or combined strategies in an attempt to cope; therefore, the ways in which participants made sense of the referendum impacted their identities and wellbeing in various nuanced ways. These findings are discussed in relation to clinical implications for the field of CoP and beyond.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: referendum; Brexit; European migrants; dementia care; counselling psychology
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Mary Burslem
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2021 09:10
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2021 09:10


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