This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Nursing to remain on shortage occupation list

Written by: | Published:

Nurses from outside of the EU will not be at risk Nurses from outside of the EU will not be at risk of deportation

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended that nursing continue to be placed on the Shortage Occupation List.

There had been fears that nursing would not remain a shortage occupation, which would mean that non-European Economic Area nurses earning under £35,000 after five years in the UK would be deported. Nursing bodies claimed that this would lead to a major reduction in the nursing workforce, as very few nurses earn £35,000 a year. The decision has been welcomed by nursing bodies such as the RCN.

‘This is a positive and forward-thinking recommendation that will benefit patients, staff and the health service. It also lays bare the short term decisions and failure to plan for the long term which have led to this position,’ said Donna Kinnair, director of nursing, policy and practice at the RCN. ‘The Committee has echoed our view that this situation must be avoided in the future through better workforce planning, while recognising that these nurses are needed for the coming months and years.’

In its report, the MAC said it had made the recommendation ‘reluctantly’ and criticised the health sector, saying that the current shortage of nurses is mostly down to factors which ‘could, and should’ have been anticipated. The body stated that its decision was made due to there being no alternate short term solution to the pressures on the nursing workforce.

‘We have reluctantly made this recommendation. However, there is no good reason why the supply of nurses cannot be sourced domestically. There seems to be an automatic presumption that non-EEA skilled migration provides the health and care sector with a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card,’ said Sir David Metcalf, chair of the MAC. 'The long term solution to addressing this shortage is recruiting and retaining staff by providing sufficient incentive and opportunity.’

The MAC also said that, on average, migrant nurses are being paid £6000 less than equivalent UK workers. In its review, the Committee found evidence suggesting employers are using non-EEA nurses to save money rather than address the shortage through other means. It also criticised the decision to cut training places in England by almost a fifth between 2009 and 2013, as well as ongoing pay restraint for nurses, which may have incentivised healthcare employers to recruit migrant nurses at lower cost.

Overseas nursing staff make up an invaluable part of our health and social care workforce. This recommendation acknowledges their vital contribution and the need to address staffing levels now. It’s something RCN members care strongly about and have been campaigning on for some time,’ added Ms Kinnair. ‘It’s essential that the UK is able to train and retain enough of its own nurses, which means ensuring that there are enough training places, and that nursing receives the pay, recognition and respect that it deserves to attract people to the profession.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Training home grown nurses as a priority is well overdue. Perhaps an introduction of two types of training - those predominantly hands on in practcxe and those who wish to take on a more managerial strategic path in the NHS
Nurses are those who carry out the caring as oppose to doctors who treat with the complementary role of the nurse. Both treatment and care complement each , you cannot have one without the other.
Both Nurses and Doctors need to be fully recognised for the roles they play in the NHS and to be rewarded accordingly not just financially. There must be some additional incentive made to attract the best and most caring to this very rewarding Nursing profession
Posted by: ,
Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.