Curbs on overseas care workers 'deeply concerning'

04 December 2023

Responding to the home secretary's announcement on cutting legal migration to the UK, which includes curbs on visas for care workers and the number of dependants migrants can bring, Miriam Deakin, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers said:

"It's vital that overseas health and care staff continue to view the UK as a viable place to work and live.

"With over 120,000 staff shortages in the NHS and over 150,000 in social care, measures that deter people from joining these professions are deeply concerning.

"The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan is clear that international recruitment will continue to play a key role in the NHS' future, alongside domestic training.

"We therefore need the health and care sectors to remain attractive not only to domestic workers but also to those educated internationally.

"The contributions of overseas staff are vital, and recently helped the government reach its target to recruit 50,000 extra nurses earlier than expected.

"But we can't rely on overseas workers alone to plug the staffing gaps. More must also be done to recruit, develop and retain a sustainable UK workforce.

"For this to happen, the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan must be fully funded by the government."