Half of 50,000 nurses promised by Boris Johnson would need to come from overseas
Yesterday we published a blog post on the new rules for fast track visas for doctors and nurses in the UK which is timely, as it appears now there are going to be significant international opportunities for healthcare professionals in the NHS in the near future.
The Health Foundation Chief Executive has said that even with improvements in all other areas of recruitment and training, the Conservatives will need to recruit almost 25,000 nurses from overseas to honour their pledge of an extra 50,000 NHS nurses, in a bid to plug the existing vacancy gap of more than 43,000.
She added: “This will be challenging and means migration policy must not be a barrier and with the number of qualified permanent full-time equivalent GPs having decreased by around 5% since the last target was set, there must be realism about what can be achieved in the timescales set out.”
The Tories said the extra 50,000 nurses would be brought in over the parliament through a combination of training and extra university places, also nurse apprenticeships which allow people to train as they work, and there will be some recruitment from overseas with the new NHS visa.
Donna Kinnair, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “The current shortage of 43,000 registered nurses can only be filled by registered nurses – with degree-level education. “It is unfair on staff and inappropriate for patients to try to plug this gap with other staff.”
She said “more detail” was needed on where the 50,000 nurses would come from, adding: “The emphasis must be firmly on growing the domestic workforce, as while we welcome nursing colleagues from around the world, an over-reliance on international recruitment is neither sustainable nor ethical in the long-term.” And she said money was needed for tuition fees for trainee nurses, not just cost-of-living grants.
So it appears there will be significant international career opportunities for healthcare professionall in the UK in the near future.
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