Nurses: Migrant Workers

Department of Health written question – answered on 21st October 2015.

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Photo of Baroness Masham of Ilton Baroness Masham of Ilton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Migration Advisory Committee's recommendation that nurses should not be added to the shortage occupation list, what they expect will be the impact of changes to the immigration rules on the running of hospitals, care homes, and care in the community.

Photo of Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health

On 15 October 2015, the Home Secretary announced that the Tier 2 restrictions will be temporarily changed for nurses so that they can be recruited from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Nurses will be added to the Government’s Shortage Occupation List (SoL) on an interim basis. The temporary rule change, which will apply to applications considered from December, will mean that nurses from outside the EEA who apply to work in the United Kingdom will have their applications for nursing posts prioritised.

The change is designed to ease pressure on health and care services ahead of the busy winter period and at a time when the Government is introducing tough new controls on agency spending. It will help improve continuity of care for patients and maintain safe staffing levels.

The Home Secretary has also asked the Migration Advisory Committee to carry out a review of the evidence about whether nurses should remain on the SoL and to report back to the Home Office by 15 February 2016.

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