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NHS too reliant on overseas recruits, says union

The NHS in England is increasingly reliant on doctors and nurses recruited from outside the UK and EU, analysis has found.

Some 34% of doctors joining the health service last year came from overseas, a rise from 18% in 2014.

The government said overseas recruitment had always been part of its strategy, but unions have warned it is an unsustainable way of recruiting in the long-term.

Patricia Marquis, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) director for England, said ministers must do more to reduce the "disproportionate reliance" on international recruits.

The government is funding an additional 1,500 undergraduate medical school places each year for domestic students in England - a 25% increase over three years.

However, last week a report by MPs concluded the large number of unfilled NHS job vacancies, about 110,000 in total, was posing a serious risk to patient safety.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said it was "high time for the government to commit to a fully-funded, long-term workforce plan for the NHS" to tackle "chronic workforce shortages".

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Source: BBC News, 5 August 2022


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