Britain’s reliance on foreign nurses has reached “unsustainable” levels, the government has been warned as new analysis reveals that international recruits has accounted for two thirds of the rise in numbers since 2019.
Ministers have repeatedly promised to boost the domestic supply of health staff amid warnings that reliance on international workers leaves the NHS at the mercy of global labour markets.
Overall, a fifth of the UK’s nursing, midwifery and nursing associate workforce originally trained overseas.
The figures will reignite concerns that nations such as the Philippines, traditionally a key source for the NHS, are being increasingly targeted by countries including Germany and Canada. Senior NHS leaders fear the health service could be left in a precarious position if increased competition results in nurses choosing alternative destinations, resulting in a shortfall for the UK. The health service in England already has one post in ten vacant.
Read full story (paywalled)
Source: The Times, 18 May 2023