National Shortage of Nursing Staff in the UK Affects Local Hospital in Walsall

Nursing Staff

The UK healthcare system NHS is all set for its new recruitment drive to hire migrant nurses on a Tier 2 Visa from EU and Non EU regions. Migrant nurses from the EU countries willing to work in the UK are exempt from Visa rules. The Walsall Manor Hospital is running short of nursing staff due to the increasing National Shortage of Nursing staff. The shortage of staff has been affecting the operating procedures and the guaranteed safe staffing levels at the hospital, prompting the Board members at Walsall to approach the NHS Trust seeking an approval for launching an international campaign for recruiting nurses.

The Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust confirmed that it’s EU and Non EU recruitment drive is underway. It is not going to be any easier for the NHS, should Brexit occur. At present, it is easy for the NHS to hire nurses from the UK without any visa requirements. After the June 23rd EU referendum, the UK might change its VISA rules and Immigration policies, however this might take some time before it comes into effect.

The Tier 2 Visa Sponsorship License

In order to recruit Non-EU nurses on a Tier 2 Visa, the Walsall Manor Hospital needs a licensure for a Tier 2 Sponsorship which was introduced in 2008 by the UK Visas and Immigration in order to control immigration to the UK. Rachel Overfield – Director of Nursing at the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, stated that patient care is a priority but not at the cost of overburdening the existing staff, which will directly affect their morale and tenure at the hospital.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust gets the bad performance rap

Care Quality Commission had put The Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust under special measures, earlier this year as the Trust got an inadequate rating for its performance. Inspectors who assessed the hospital infrastructure and staff stated that the Trust is lagging behind in its staffing. A hospital spokesperson stated that the local effects of a national level shortage are being felt; given that the Trust has done everything it could in the form of recruitment drives, running digital campaigns on the social media and new recruitment initiatives in order to attract talent. Instead, the Trust feels that it could save spends on such campaigns by recruiting Migrant nurses. The Trust has sought funding from the NHS Improvement for its recruitment campaign and plans on keeping a small amount of contingency funds to back the expenses.

Rachael Overfield added that the migrant nurses will have to undergo an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) assessment, to ensure that the recruited staff is fluent in English. The hospital doesn’t have the headcount for the workforce it plans to hire, however in the past it has faced problems with hiring migrant workers managing to retain less than half the number.

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