The UK’S National Health Service is the largest organisation in Europe and it is recognised as one of the best health services in the world by the World Health Organisation yet there is a keen need to be improvements to cope with the demands of the 21st century.
One of the big changes imposed by the Government is that the overseas nurses will no longer be able to get work permits unless NHS trusts can prove they are unable to fill the posts with candidates trained in the European Economic Area or the UK.
The new rule is affecting the international nurses that want to come and work in UK but can’t affect the ones that are already working in Britain. The aim of this new rule is to help the UK candidates getting jobs.
It seams that the decision was announced as a result of a survey which revealed that only a small percentage (20 per cent) of the nurses graduating this summer have found jobs.
An important role in this decision was certainly played by the 16,000 NHS job cuts in the past four months. Even the health minister Lord Warner considers that the survey might not be accurate as I was conducted too early. The health minister also explained that the scale recruitment of overseas nurses that took place in last 5 years at such large scale was only a short-term measure.
As a reaction to the new rule, The Royal College of Nursing that represents the interests of nurses and nursing locally, nationally and internationally and is aiming to influence and lobby governments and others to develop and implement policy that improves the quality of patient care, and builds on the importance of nurses, health care assistants and nursing students to health outcomes as well as support and protect the value of nurses and nursing staff in all their diversity, accused the government that it is trying to put the blame of the £1.3bn NHS deficit on the shoulders of international nurses.
The general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing highlights that the “international nurses have always been there for the UK in times of need” and suggested that it is not fair for them to pay for the deficits crisis.
There is also known that there are specialised areas such as intensive care in which there are shortages plus 150,000 nurses are due to retire in the next five to 10 years and the homegrown nurses alone won’t be able to replace them all.