The care and health sector has struggled with acquiring and retaining staff. Reports today state that there are 6000 GP vacancies at present. These figures, along with the figures below, are alarming.
The Home Office's 'hostile environment' policy certainly does not make a warm welcome. Whilst the Home Office will argue this is meant for migrants in the UK illegally; legal migrants also feel the hostility in the form of sky-high application fees, long and complex application processes, and unreasonable decision making which can result in appeal processes.
With an ageing population, the NHS and care sector is under further strain. More staff will be required; more than what can be trained locally. Migrant workers are vital to any thriving economy. The Home Office could do so much more to help. Fees could be reduced to more reasonable amounts. The application process could be simplified and easy to understand by any layman. Lets hope they can fix the system before it's too late.
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said all NHS trusts had been written to, urging them to reassure the service’s 60,000 employees from the EU who might be worried about what their options are. He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “Every hospital has now been written to asking them to reach out to their staff from the rest of the EU, providing that the home secretary has set a clear process by which people can apply to stay in this country, which we hope they will do.” According to the Nursing Times, EU nationals make up 5.6% of NHS England’s workforce. But data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council last autumn showed a 67% increase in the number of nurses and midwives from other EU countries leaving the register and an 89% reduction in EU nationals joining it.