Nurses and managers have condemned proposals to cap the number of migrants from outside the European Economic Area who can work in the UK.
The government’s migration advisory committee last week recommended reductions of up to 25 per cent in the number of non-EEA migrants given visas. Its report will inform a government decision on a cap to come into force from next April.
An interim cap introduced in September has already left North West London Hospitals Trust unable to get visas for around 100 nurses it had already recruited.
NHS Employers called for an exemption for trusts that could demonstrate they had failed to recruit from other sources.
Royal College of Nursing head of policy Howard Catton said: “We cannot replace them overnight with a home grown service.”