New immigration system will be difficult pill to swallow for social care
19 February 2020
- The home secretary Priti Patel has announced a new points-based immigration system.
- The government said that the new system, which takes effect from 1 January 2021, will assign points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions.
- A new NHS visa aims to fast-track doctors and other skilled medical practitioners to help with skills shortages in hospitals and GP surgeries.
Responding to the new UK points-based immigration system announced today by the government, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:
“The detail outlined today by the home secretary will provoke mixed feelings across the health and care sectors. While trusts will be pleased to see some protections for NHS recruitment, the fact that highly valued and desperately needed care workers will not be offered visas is a difficult pill to swallow.
“Vital roles that the NHS needs to recruit to remain protected by the shortage occupation list, and the new NHS visa should help to both fast-track and expand this process, so the service can start to tackle severe workforce shortages through international recruitment, alongside a focus on recruiting domestically.
While trusts will be pleased to see some protections for NHS recruitment, the fact that highly valued and desperately needed care workers will not be offered visas is a difficult pill to swallow.Deputy Chief Executive
“However the government’s decision to lower the salary threshold, does nothing to address the dire staff shortages we see in the social care sector, on which the NHS and public depends. Low pay does not mean low skill - we urgently need people to take up these vital and rewarding careers within social care.
“We are deeply concerned that the salary thresholds, qualification requirements and the removal of the proposed temporary visa route will effectively create an unnecessary barrier between the sector and the care workers it needs. There are deep-rooted problems within the social care sector and these proposals risk making that worse. We urgently need to see social care reform, with appropriate access to international recruitment, to get the care sector back on a sustainable footing.”