EFFORTS are being made to convince EU nationals who have made the local area their home to resist the temptation to return to their own country now Brexit has taken place.

There are particular concerns that health services could be affected as people who have found work within the NHS after leaving the continent to begin a new life in Renfrewshire or East Renfrewshire decide to quit.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has written to all EU nationals working in Scotland’s NHS to urge them to stay.

In her open letter, she thanked them for their work in the health and social care sector, adding: “We value you greatly.”

Ms Freeman has pledged that protecting the rights of EU nationals continues to be her “top priority,” despite the uncertainty of Brexit.

The letter, which has been sent to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, states: “Your dedication and hard work is invaluable in continuing to deliver our health and social care services and I am truly grateful for everything you do.”

Acknowledging the “great concern” felt by many at the UK’s departure from the EU, Ms Freeman also gave details of the settlement scheme and warned that more than 40 per cent of the estimated EU nationals in Scotland have not applied for the right to remain.

She wrote: “I know many EU citizens living and working in Scotland are feeling increasingly uncertain now that Brexit is upon us and many will share the sadness I feel that Scotland is being taken out of the EU against our wishes.

“I am fortunate that, almost every day, I get to see the hard work and dedication of our NHS and care staff – staff born and raised in Scotland, staff from elsewhere in the UK and staff from around the world. Our EU staff play a vital role in all of that and I am truly grateful for the work that you do.”