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Non-EU overseas nurses to be exempt from skilled migration cap

More nurses and doctors from outside the European Union will be able to work in the NHS & private after a government decision to exclude them from the cap on skilled workers.

There will be no limitation on the numbers of doctors and nurses who can be employed through the tier 2 visa route under new immigration rules. This rule will be effective from 6th July 2018.

The tier 2 visa route, which applies to non-EU workers, has had an annual cap of 20,700 since 2011 when Theresa May was home secretary.

Before December 2017, the cap, which was determined to the guidance of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), had only been reached on one occasion, the Home Office said.

But in recent months the number of applications has exceeded the monthly allocation of available places with the demand largely driven by the NHS, which accounts for around 40% of all tier 2 places.

Toward the finish of March there were more than 35,000 nursing opening in England's NHS, according to a report by regulator NHS Improvement.

Home secretary Sajid Javid said: “I recognise the pressures faced by the NHS and other sectors in recent months. Doctors and nurses assume an indispensable part in the public arena and as of now we require more in the UK."

Health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt said overseas staff had been a key part of the NHS since its creation.

"The present news sends a reasonable message to medical attendants and specialists from around the globe that the NHS invites and qualities their aptitudes and commitment. It's awesome that patients will now profit by the care of thousands more gifted staff," he said.

Mr Hunt said the new visa approach would run as an inseparable unit with long haul measures to expand the supply of residential specialists, including expanding the quantity of training places.

He added: “This builds on steps we have already taken to make sure the NHS has the staff it needs for the future – boosting training places for home-grown doctors and nurses by 25% and giving over a million NHS employees a well-deserved pay rise.”

Stephanie Aiken, deputy director of nursing at the Royal College of Nursing, welcomed the change. “Today the government has woken up to the vital contribution international nurses make to our health and social care sector,” she said.

"The UK has since quite a while ago relied upon experts from around the globe to plug staff deficiencies at home," she said. “Patient demand is rising and we will continue to rely on this important source of expertise.”

Source: Nursing Times

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