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Migration rules derail major nurse recruitment plans


A Manchester trust’s plans to draft in 275 nurses from India have been thrown into doubt due to difficulties securing visas.

Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had planned to have the nurses in post in July.

However, it encountered “difficulties in the pre-employment and migration processes required to bring the nurses into the UK”.

It secured “certificates of sponsorship” earlier in the year, effectively giving permission to carry out the recruitment in India.

But these expired before pre-employment and migration checks could be carried out, according to Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal.

It has since received 54 new certificates, and said it hoped the nurses could arrive by January. It is still trying to obtain certificates for the rest of the cohort.

The trust said it has raised concerns with the government and regulatory bodies, and had factored the recruitment delays into its winter plans.

It comes amid warnings that new migration controls are putting patients at risk, by leaving trusts with staff shortages going into winter. NHS Employers has criticised the Home Office for not placing nursing on the “shortage occupation” list.

Last week NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens also warned that the situation was hampering efforts to expand the nursing workforce.

In response, a Home Office spokeswoman said: “In the past it has been too easy for some employers to bring in workers from overseas rather than to take the long term decision to train our workforce here at home.”

She added that its independent migration advisory committee had taken evidence from a “number of NHS trusts and representative bodies” before recommending against adding nurses to the shortage occupation list.


Readers' comments (5)

  • michael stone

    The more I read about the NHS, nurse recruitment, and Goverment policy-making, the more that famous sentence which includes 'organise' and 'brewery' springs to mind - as does another which includes 'cart' and 'horse'.

    But life is too short, to spend much time analysing anything which involves politicians making decisions.

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  • So Manchester want to poach 270 nurses from India. Can India afford to lose their nurses to an NHS who are unable to see further then their noses. This is now the time that the bulge babies of the 40s/50s start to have age related problems. We have known this would happen but the government has done s*d all to be ready for this. I'm 70 next year and am quaking in my boots wondering if I will stay healthy till I drop dead.

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  • There would be a reduced need for overseas nurses if nurses who are in the UK are paid a better salary. This would result in fewer leaving the profession to find alternative and better paid work or joining an agency which pays better.

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  • michael stone | 12-Oct-2015 2:36 pm

    rubbish. you know nothing about it!

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  • A possible solution is to bring back nurse training into the NHS and have a contract which stipulates that on qualifying, a nurse must work a minimum of two years in the NHS. Not only will this ensure the training is much better, the wheat will be sorted from the chaff and it will help to restore pride in the role. It will also ensure that each year around 100 extra nurses are on duty at each hospital.

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