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Visa cap set to be waived for NHS

Articule from recruiter.co.uk 

Recruiters have welcomed reports government is about to relax immigration rules to enable more doctors and nurses from outside the EU to come and work in the UK.

Earlier this month, Recruiter reported on new home secretary Sajid Javid’s appearance on The Andrew Marr Showat which he committed to take a “fresh look” at the cap on the number of skilled workers being given visas.

This morning, the BBC is reporting that tomorrow the Home Office will confirm that foreign doctors and nurses will be excluded from the government’s visa cap.

The cap, introduced by Prime Minister Theresa May when she was home secretary, places an annual limit for all non-EU skilled workers of 20,700 people coming to the UK.

Commenting on the BBC reports, Dr Andrew Harborne, director at Birmingham-based recruiter VIQU and an NHS doctor himself, told Recruiter today’s development was already having an impact on the level of engagement between his agency and NHS Trust leaders.

He added his agency had been busy increasing the number of middle grade doctors from outside the EU on their books in the knowledge that the cap could be relaxed, and now he can get to work placing these doctors.

According to Harborne, internationalism is so integral to the NHS at the moment and this is reflected in the fact that when working in A&E on Sunday his colleagues came from as far afield as New Zealand, India and Sri Lanka.

Also commenting, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s head of policy Sophie Wingfield spoke of the growing need for foreign workers as increasing numbers of baby boomers retire.

“We need the government to take a pragmatic, sensible approach to immigration, not cling to policies driven more by ideology than evidence. An obvious next move would be to remove students from the overall immigration figures.

“What we really need now is a clear, constructive post-Brexit immigration policy – something we are still waiting to see even in draft form – but this is certainly a step in the right direction.”  

But while also welcoming today’s reports Olivia Spruce, chief operating officer at Positive Healthcare, told Recruiter the UK needs to do more to develop its domestic talent pool.

“This is definitely a step in the right direction,” Spruce said. “But we now need to look at how we encourage more doctors and nurses into the NHS from a domestic perspective and how we preserve existing talent.”

Recruiter contacted the Home Office for a response but was told it does not comment on leaked documents.

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