Government changes to immigration rules could make it harder for North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust to recruit nurses from oversees despite the ongoing recruitment crisis. This comes on the back of years of cuts to nursing training places in the UK and a letter from regulators urging Trusts to reduce recruitment.
Various reports by the Care Quality Commission have highlighted staff shortages as a reason for many of the issues at the Trust, but various requests from Copeland MP, Jamie Reed, for support has been rebuffed by the Government.
A report by the Royal College of Nursing, published earlier this year, shows that over the last Parliament, the Government have cut 3,375 student nursing commissions. As a result of this, Trusts are increasingly looking abroad to fill staff shortages, but the Government’s proposed changes to immigration rules could hinder this.
North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust’s Board Papers for September reveal:
“As a Trust we are currently seeking to recruit registered nurses from the Philippines. We have through a procurement tender exercise appointed a preferred supplier. However, obtaining visas has become problematic during this process and the new immigration laws effective from 2017 may hinder this project.”
Jamie Reed MP is again raising this matter with Ministers and has reaffirmed his commitment to fighting to secure services at the West Cumberland Hospital.
Copeland MP, Jamie Reed said:
“Despite repeated request for support to alleviate the ongoing recruitment crisis in North and West Cumbria, the Government’s policies are making things worse. We have known for years that short staffing is the root cause of many issues at the Trust, but the Government doesn’t want to know.
“Ministers are making it harder to train staff in the UK, making it harder to recruit staff and making it harder to attract nurses from overseas. Our doctors and nurses are working incredibly hard in difficult circumstances, but they are being pushed to breaking point.
“Each of us in West and North Cumbria rely on these services and everyone wants these services to improve. We know progress is being made by the Trust, but the recent report by the Care Quality Commission shows recruitment is still a pressing issue.
“Instead of the preventing the Trust from recruiting staff it badly needs, the Government should be empowering the Trust to secure the staff it needs. Sadly, it is always the patients that pay the price of Government failure.”