If recent pandemic problems have taught us anything, it’s taught that if we want a fully functioning, well run NHS that can cope with whatever gets thrown at it, then we need good staff to work in it.
To meet that demand we undoubtedly need to look abroad for international staff to work alongside our dedicated, domestic healthcare professional teams that we already have in place.
It’s why the UK healthcare industry eagerly awaited the Government’s report and proposal for a Points Based System for immigration. What the industry wanted to know was, ‘what were the implications for the NHS and how would it help the gap in UK nursing?’
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recently published its report into a Points-Based System (PBS) and Salary Thresholds for immigration and how it will affect health care workers. Commissioned by the Home Secretary Priti Patel, the report looked at the post-Brexit single immigration system and included a renewed interest in an ‘Australian-style’ PBS.
The problem was always going to be that if you have a system that puts salary levels as a key determination of the number of points (e.g. the higher your salary the more points you qualify for) then how do you value nurses who are traditionally lower paid professionals, yet clearly in huge demand within our NHS.
It must be stressed that the Government has gone to great lengths to explain that this is only the first stage of the process and that it will be reviewed and honed as the whole thing progresses. However, the most encouraging sign from the report to date is that nursing is already being highlighted as a ‘shortage occupation’ and that criteria will hold one of the highest points allocation as individual candidates will look to meet and surpass the 70 point threshold for application … this is undoubtedly good news for the nursing industry as it looks to fill the gap in the coming years.
The report can be viewed in full by clicking through to the link here:
All eyes will now be on the Government as they take the process to the next stage with the imminent publication of a new White Paper on the subject.
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