Should the NHS still be recruiting from overseas?

The NHS has a major workforce crisis, with over 132,000 vacancies overall and over 47,000 vacancies for registered nurses.

The recruitment of nurses and other staff from overseas is often promoted as a quick fix for some of the staffing issues. Most recently, Therese Coffey, in her brief spell at the DHSC, commented that if nurses left the NHS, overseas recruitment could fill those places.

In September 2022, NHS England announced additional funding for NHS trusts in England for overseas recruitment. They are now able to claim £7,000 from NHS England per overseas nurse recruited between 1 January and 31 March 2023. In Scotland an additional £8m will be spent on recruiting nurses from overseas to help ease the workforce crisis in Scotland this winter.

This may ease the troubles of the NHS somewhat, but with the shortage of healthcare personnel, in particular nurses and midwives, now global, according to the WHO, should overseas recruitment take place at all.

Full story in The Lowdown, 14 November 2022