The NHS could suffer a shortage of more than 51,000 nurses after Brexit, a damning new report has warned.
Waiting times are also set to increase because immigration changes will mean it will become more difficult to recruit and retain staff.
The authors of the new report said politicians needed to seriously examine the impact that Brexit will have on our health service.
These startling figures should be taken extremely seriously by those negotiating our departure from the EU, said Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation.
The health and social care sector is deeply reliant on talented colleagues from across Europe and the rest of the world so it is deeply disheartening to see these projected workforce gaps at a time of rising demand for services.
In England there is already a shortage of 41,722 nurses.
The report, commissioned by the Cavendish Coalition of 36 health and care charities, looked into trends in health and social care alongside the role of European nationals working for the NHS.
It estimated that in the short term there would be an additional shortage of around 2,700 nurses.
They said that would rise to between 5,000 and 10,000 during the remaining period of Brexit transition to 2021.
Experts have said the total shortage across all of social care could easily top 70,000 people.
The authors, from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, also warned that waiting times for patients tend to increase in NHS Trusts which are losing more European workers, particularly nurses.
Polls suggest that the vast majority of NHS workers do not favour Brexit and have previously warned they will suffer from staffing shortages plus a lack of access to research.
The report makes a series of recommendations including: a call for an uncomplicated immigration process, a review into workforce planning for the health and social care sector and a call for the Home Office to guarantee that its settled status programme for EU nationals will be honoured in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Commenting on the report, Nigel Edwards, chief executive at the health think tank the Nuffield Trust, said: This is an extensive and credible report which should trouble everyone who cares about the future of health and care in the UK.
Our own calculations have shown that with no further net migration or improvements domestically, social care could face a gap of up to 70,000 workers by 2025.
The Governments reported plan to stem all immigration of less qualified people after Brexit, and the repeated ducking of tough choices on social care, make this worst case scenario look worryingly plausible.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: We greatly value the contribution of nurses to the NHS and we hope those from the EU will take up the early opportunity to secure their future in the UK.
There are 11,900 more nurses on our wards since 2010, 52,000 nurses currently in NHS training and we have made more funding available to increase university training places.
Later this year, we will also set out plans to reform the adult social care system to make it sustainable for the future, including how better to attract and retain staff.