New Immigration Rules Hitting Foreign Nurses Hard!
The government have announced a new set of rules that will come into play next year surrounding the topic that they will be sending home any migrants who are earning under £35,000 a year, that is after six years of residence in Britain.
Many bodies are up in arms about this, not to mention the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), who have stated that at least 3,000 immigrant nurses could be deported, resulting in chaos within the NHS as well as putting patient safety at risk. This would result also in the NHS effectively wasting £20.19 million, a large sum of money that was spent recruiting them.
The number of migrant nurses is set to double by 2020 though, resulting in a further wastage of a reported £39.7 million, which is money that the NHS can ill afford to loose.
The salary of a newly qualified nurse is reported to be around £21,000 a year, with the more senior nurses earning up to £35,000 a year. These new rules will wipe out a whole chunk of experienced nursing staff from UK hospitals and medical institutions, not to mention other immigrant staff within the National Health Service system that is heavily relied upon.
Increase Stress To NHS
The RCN have warned that this ruling of deportation will exasperate the problem of the lack of nurses within the NHS, however The Home Office have said that it has wanted to reduce the need and call for migrant labour for some time and that hospitals were warned as far back as 2011 of this change in the rules. This does not change the fact however that around 7000 nurses could be sent home by 2020.
A Home Office spokesman claimed that there were “exemptions to this threshold for occupations where the UK had a shortage”, but when an independent Migration Advisory Committee advised not to add the nursing occupation onto the UK shortage list, the Prime Minister David Cameron agreed. “They haven’t put nursing on that shortage occupation list and I think we should listen to their advice above all,” he said.
These changes could send staffing within the NHS one of two ways, either into the “utter chaos” that is feared by the RCN, or into more jobs being available for UK residents. Millions of NHS money has been spent to ensure that the level of staffing is up to standards, and now under new regimes more money will have to be found to recruit and train nurses all over again, that is if enough of them can even be found.
Concerns have been shown that inflated agency fees will drain even more money from our health service and agency staff will be called upon to fill in the gaps. This in turn is something that will have to be closely looked at as it is certainly not a long term solution in terms of financial sense or staffing solutions.