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A big piece of the jigsaw

On his discharge from hospital, the Prime Minister made an effort to thank Jenny McGee and Luis Pitarma, two of the nurses that looked after him while he was in ICU at St Thomas’.

What made this situation additionally interesting to us at My Healthcare Recruit was that neither nurse was born here in the UK which goes to prove what we’ve been saying since the business started in 2017 … it doesn’t matter where you’re from it’s about how qualified you are to do the job.

The influx of patients linked to Covid-19 has brought more people in to contact with international nurses and we believe that in itself starts to break down any pre-conceived beliefs and attitudes. I simple terms people that have their lives saved by nurses don’t tend to care where those nurses have come from.

On an operational level, these international nurses have proved their worth, their value and their part within the wider nursing team. But above that they have also proved that international nurses are a perfect solution for ‘nursing gap’ problem that we have here in the UK.

But if this solution is to be implemented as part of the long-term plan then there are a few things that would help:

  • Faster visa processing times
  • Removal of immigration skills charge not just for NHS workers but also for the private care and social care sector who are fundamental to the system working effectively
  • Removal of the Immigration Skills Charge – an additional £3000 tax for every overseas professional that comes to work for our healthcare workforce

International nurses have proved their contribution recently and that in itself demonstrates how important the sector might be in closing the UK’s dangerous ‘nursing gap’. However, if that’s to be a working solution to the problem then certain tweaks will have to be made to the process … over to the powers that be.