The coronavirus pandemic has of course put a huge amount of pressure on the already strained NHS, and targets which were set by the government to reach an increase of net 50,000 nurses by 2024 are looking unlikely to be met, despite the recent announcement of the new Health and Care Visa.
The NHS have not formally acknowledged how many of required 50,000 nurses would be from overseas, but industry observers estimate that around 12,500 nurses would be internationally recruited. But the first year of the plan has reportedly been written off due to the Covid crisis, with restrictions on travel and visas putting a huge question mark over any global recruitment drive.
In order to alleviate the problems caused by the pandemic, the Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care have just announced that a new visa will be launched in Summer 2020, which is designed to fast track eligible “skilled” health and care professionals in order to fill gaps in the NHS workforce and meet recruitment targets.
However, with the pandemic having a huge impact in every area of the world, healthcare organisations worldwide are reluctant to let any trained staff go, with employed healthcare workers reporting that they are unable to resign to come to the UK. Meanwhile, the restrictions on travel have meant that even those who are able to commit to the NHS simply cannot leave their home country.
And it’s not just nursing staff that are feeling the pinch. NHS Employers, the company responsible for recruitment in the NHS, have recently warned that the social care system is in danger of total collapse without international recruitment, especially as the new Health and Social Care Visa does not cover workers for social care. This omission has been heavily criticised by the social care sector, who feel that their contribution to the pandemic has not received the same amount of acclaim as the NHS. The social care sector is asking the government to rethink their stance on excluding social care workers from the new visa scheme.
Regardless of the controversy of the new visa, global restrictions are beginning to be lifted and there is hope that the nursing and social care targets will be met, and the NHS can start to recover from the pandemic.
With all sectors feeling both the operational as well as financial impact of recent events, employers must look for ways to make savings. The JMK PEO model ensures that healthcare agencies can benefit from the zero-rated VAT status of the NHS and other employers in the healthcare sector, resulting in additional crucial cash flow at this difficult time.
Talk to one of our advisors today for guidance on how JMK can help support you and your staff.
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