NHS bosses have announced a £28m fund to support international nurses and midwives who are ‘waiting in the wings’ to join the NHS front line.
England’s Chief Nursing Officer, Ruth May said the International Recruitment Fund will help NHS organisations cover the costs of recruiting nursing staff from overseas.
‘Thousands of nurses from across the globe had their plans to join the NHS derailed by coronavirus, but overseas nurses have now started to travel to the UK and take up positions in hospitals and other trusts.
‘This international recruitment fund will help NHS organisations pay for additional costs incurred because of coronavirus, including accommodation, flights and quarantine.
‘This has been the most challenging year in NHS history and nurses and midwives have stepped up in ways never seen before. Their efforts throughout this global pandemic have inspired a whole new generation of people to take up a career in the NHS.’
However, Susan Masters, director of nursing policy and public affairs for the Royal College of Nursing says it is ‘not sustainable’ for the NHS to rely on international nursing staff,
‘We want the UK to be attractive to our international colleagues, who we value and can learn from.
‘However, we should not be over-reliant on international nursing staff as this is not sustainable.
‘Any strategy for short-term international recruitment must be aligned with a strategy for longer-term growth in the domestic nursing workforce.
‘It is essential that any reciprocal agreements between the UK and other countries are ethical and that the nursing profession in that country agrees with the approach being taken.’
NHS bosses said they have also made £1.m available to regional nursing teams to recruit health care support workers in NHS organisations with the highest vacancy rates.
Trusts are also being encouraged to make the most of the 6,000 nurses who signed up to a temporary register and have now completed pre employment checks.
Photo Credit – Pixabay