UK’s new immigration rules could result in deportation of almost 7,000 non-European nurses, many of whom are from India, by 2020. The immigration cap set under the new rules could result in skill shortage at Britain’s National Health Services (NHS). The salary threshold has also been raised to £35,000 per year, thus affecting as many as 30,000 nurses currently working at the NHS.
India is only next to Philippines when it comes to sending nursing staff to NHS. The Times of India reported RCN General Secretary Peter Carter saying, “The immigration rules will cause chaos for the NHS and other care services. At a time when demand is increasing, the UK is perversely making it harder to employ staff from overseas.”
Under the new immigration rules, nurses working with NHS for six years but do not meet the income threshold will be send home. The move will start from 2011 batch. The nurses who started working in 2011 will be sent back by 2017. And the process will follow year after year till 2020.
The rules are likely to result in loss of skill and knowledge these nurses have gained over years. The UK will have to start the whole process of recruitment, training and retention all over again.
There was no income threshold nor was there a six year time limit previously for foreign, mostly non-European nurses. The new rules are likely to come into force and send back those who failed to hit the £35,000 income mark after working 6 years with the NHS. But, the Royal College of Nurses estimates that 90% of the nurses may not meet the threshold even after the set time limit.
Source: The Times of India
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