Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Immigration cap to fuel specialist nurse training

  • 4 Comments

A planned immigration cap could force the NHS to train more specialist nurses, a workforce expert has told Nursing Times.

The government is proposing to limit the number of British visas available for non-EU migrants with skills on the shortage occupation list, which includes specialist theatre and neonatal intensive care nurses.

National Nursing Research Unit director Peter Griffiths said this put the onus on the NHS to solve any shortages by training its own staff, rather than recruiting from abroad. He told Nursing Times some areas, such as theatre nursing, were experiencing shortages because they were no longer part of the undergraduate curriculum, so few students experienced the work during placements.

He said: “There’s a generally recognised tendency that people are, by and large, more likely to consider going into a particular area if they have some experience of it.”

Placements should be more informed by the future needs of the workforce, he added.

The cap is part of a government drive to reduce net immigration to 1990s levels.

A consultation paper says employers must exhaust “every reasonable avenue” to recruit workers already resident in the UK before looking overseas, and demonstrate a “practical commitment to upskilling British workers”.

HCL locum agency executive vice chair Kate Bleasdale agreed that more nurses must be trained for roles in special care baby units, theatres, intensive care and paediatrics.

She warned the NHS would struggle under the immigration cap as it would “not take into account the healthcare needs of different regions, or the overall rising demand”.

  • 4 Comments

Readers' comments (4)

  • Where I work, we depend very much on overseas nurses and they are the back bone of our work force. Specialist areas find it difficult to recruit and often have an older work force. This leaves a huge gap in many areas and will effect patient care

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Specialist nurses. If ever a phrase was over used. Still the same old lamentable work force planning as 30 years ago. Maybe with the NMC now having a education remit they might pull a finger out and sort this in a decade or two?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I have always wanted to work in theatre and was not allowed to choose my dream specialty area because another university organises our university students' placements. Basically their students were allowed to choose where they wanted and we get whatever thats left for us. How DISGUSTING! I think all student should be able to choose their elective. Im glad that university is no longer offering nursing course degree anymore! AT least our future students dont have to suffer anymore!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hi anonymous. What do you mean not offering nursing course degree anymore? It's going to be all degree after April isn't it?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.