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Immigration cap leaves trusts unable to hire staff


The government’s immigration cap announced last month is creating problems for some acute hospitals.

The number of “certificates of sponsorship” that employers are allowed to issue to foreign staff needing UK residency has been cut by 5 per cent. That has left the 100 foreign nurses with job offers from North West London Hospitals Trust in limbo as the trust cannot issue them with a certificate.

The trust is appealing against the restriction with the UK Border Agency and a decision is expected by October.

NHS Employers deputy head of employment services Caroline Waterfield said other trusts were experiencing similar issues, including being unable to extend the contracts of existing staff.


Readers' comments (21)

  • Bull. Then why not hire any one of the hundreds if not thousands of qualified UK staff who are struggling to find work then? Because I know they are out there!

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  • why are trusts concerned about recruiting immigrants when thousands of UK nurses are being made redundant. this seems a totally flawed argument - or they hoping that this will be cheaper labour

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  • Furthermore who is going to financially support all the British nurses who are out of work and how are standards of safety and quality of health care going to be maintained?

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  • Insensitive comments. The trust is unable to fulfill their local needs, they are not asking for certificates to "over run" our excellent British wards with incompetent foreign nurses who no doubt lower our world class standards. I have advertised jobs locally, regionally and nationally in the past and local nurses I know have opted NOT to apply, and as such we have recruited foreign nurses. There is a hidden underlying hostility fiestas foreigners. Why not direct it to policy makers,gvt, trusts AND some nurses who pick and choose. If I was a foreigner reading some of the comments here I would worry about the potential care I would receive from nurses if they harbour such resentment.

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  • In answer to comment above sounds like you shouldnt be in recruiting if you think foreign nurses lower the standards. many 'foreigners' (and one can't label and generalise) are far more highly trained and qualified than in the UK only this is not recognised or accepted because like some uk nurses there are also poor ones who have given 'foreigners' a bad reputation. the points made in the comments above are based on the present economic climate and job cuts in the UK and logic and not to the sensitivities of 'foreigners' as is suggested above. Again one has to be flexible and adaptable enough to adapt to the current situation and not look to foreign recruitment when there are nurses living in Britain who are out of work - they need financial support as well and if they can't get jobs then we, the tax payers, and the state have to support them. Nursing leaders now need management training which includes financial and resource management so that they can understand these problems. Leadership is no longer just about nursing alone.

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  • Anonymous | 15-Sep-2010 9:14 am you really don't have a clue what you are talking about, and it is that kind of liberal crap that gets peoples backs up. There is no anger or resentment or negative feeling toward foriegn workers. In fact I believe that Nursing is one of the few key skills that should always be open to anyone regardless of country of origin.

    However, what annoys me is the belief that immigration is responsible for keeping the NHS on its feet, this poorly researched article is evidence of that, the fact that large numbers of foriegn nurses are being hired, yet there are vast numbers of our own born and bred nurses who are struggling to find work because of job freezes etc.

    A NURSE should not have to struggle to find work anyway, especially in their own country.

    Australia has a more sensible policy, they welcome wholeheartedly immigration with specific key skills, Nursing included, but they ensure that their own are employed first and then look abroad, unlike in this country where that is often backward.

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  • I did not know foreign trained nurses are incompetent and lower Britain's world class standards.ummmmm.What makes you say that,why is the Nursing and midwery council not done anything about it,why are they still allowed to pratice in this beloved country of ours? Ummm.I have worked with nurses who were trained overseas and I can not faulter them.

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  • BFG

    I have worked with some great British nurses and some absolute crap ones, and the same can be said for foreign nurses as I have worked with them also.

    I think Mike hit the nail on the head it is the fact that it has been said that recruitment from abroad will keep UK nursing on its feet. I wonder what the nursing students going through their training at the moment think of this comment??

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  • We have thousands of newly qualified nurses who can't get jobs..thousands more waiting to qualify and thousands more waiting for redundancy......and we are recruiting from abroad!? I smell something fishy....back-handers maybe?

    Is not a similar thing happening to junior doctors. It is quite frankly a bloody scandal. You can dress it up in your liberal do-gooding rhetoric as much as you like

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  • Or maybe foreign nurses are preferred because they just get on with the job of nursing and don't spend all their time wingeing about low pay, and short staffing. Foreign nurses are prepared to move to another country to find work, whereas most English nurses will not travel further than a few miles.
    Some of the people posting on here are starting to sound like the miners prior to the debacle of the 80's. You do not have a god given right to work as a nurse in your local hospital anymore than they had of being employed in a local pit. There are loads of jobs out there if you are prepared to travel or move.

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