CARE homes are worried about where their staff will come from after Brexit and whether they can be sure of food and medicine supplies.

That was the message from an industry leader in Dorset with Brexit scheduled to happen in only 10 weeks.

Kevin Gunputh, chair of Dorset Care Homes Association and managing director of LuxyCare, invited Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood to one of the company’s homes to discuss the uncertainties over Brexit.

Mr Gunputh said one of his main concerns was filling jobs once freedom of movement around Europe ended.

“Around 30 per cent of our staff are non-UK. Four per cent are from outside Europe,” he said.

“It’s about how that process is going to be managed in terms of backfilling those vacancies.”

He added: “Because there’s so much uncertainty, essentially we don’t know which plan to work to. We can’t afford to manage every plan.”

He said the company had increased pay to attract more staff, but it was still difficult to fill jobs.

“Historically, we’ve had individuals coming here, like my dad, who came from Mauritius and would traditionally send money back,” he said.

But with the pound so weak against the euro, it “doesn’t make sense any more” for staff to send money home to other countries.

He is also worried about whether food and medicine from Europe will arrive without delays after Brexit.

“We aren’t allowed to stockpile medicine,” he said.

It has been predicted that England will be 400,000 carers short due to the UK leaving the EU. The adult social care workforce is already short of 90,000 staff and Bournemouth has 200 homes.

Defence minister Tobias Ellwood visited Seabourne House Care Home, one of four homes in Bournemouth and Poole owned by the LuxuryCare group.

Mr Ellwood voted Remain and backed the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement with the EU.

He said the deal would have allowed a transition period in which trade would have carried on as normal. He hoped another deal would be agreed.

He said all political parties had confirmed that EU workers in Britain would have the right to remain.

“I hope that gives you a modicum of reassurance that the people that work so well to keep these businesses going will continue doing so regardless after March 29,” he said.

Mr Ellwood voiced his fears of “defaulting” into a “no deal Brexit” and said it might become necessary to delay Britain’s departure from the EU.

“If a deal isn’t imminent then we probably will need to secure further time, so we avoid the catastrophic idea of medicines being stuck on the wrong side of the border, of us not being able to get the necessary supplies into our supermarkets,” he said.