Posted on: 4 Sep 2017
UK recruitment agencies will know how hard it is to get workers to fill roles in sectors affected by skills gaps, whether that is the construction or agricultural industry.
The trials of the healthcare sector are well known with many people pointing the finger at a lack of workers in the sector. In an attempt to placate these accusations from NHS workers, recruiters and patients themselves, The Government has unveiled plans to introduce a £100 million package to recruit 5,000 doctors from overseas.
Detractors are still unhappy however, as the money is a short-term solution to a long-term problem (a back of a fag-packet calculation reveals that the money would have paid for the training of 4,000 home grown doctors eventually anyway), and fails to address the 40,000 vacancies for nurses across the UK.
A GP recruitment agency would be set up to spend the money on reaching out to doctors overseas to convince them to come and work in the UK.
The money is available for a three-year programme, with the option for NHS England to extend the programme for a year if necessary.
NHS England has claimed that there are plans to increase the number of medical school places by 25 per cent in the long term, and that the NHS has a long history of ‘ethically recruiting’ healthcare professionals from overseas.
Dr Arvind Madan, GP and NHS England director of primary care, told The Independent newspaper: “Most of the GPs in this country will be trained here.
“One in five GPs currently coming from overseas. This scheme will deliver new recruits to help improve services for patients and reduce some of the pressure on hard working GPs across the country.”
The shortage of doctors and nurses in England has led to some A&E departments being threatened with closure, and the Care Quality Commission raising concerns about the quality of care that has been on offer in hospitals experiencing severe staff shortages.
Entire healthcare trusts have been warned by the CQC that they need to improve their recruitment if standards are going to be met.
Nursing number have been particularly badly affected by the Brexit vote, and there were 96 per cent fewer nurses registering to work in the UK this year, compared to last year, which has been blamed on the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Many are placing the blame for the drop-in healthcare workers numbers squarely at the Government’s feet. This is as they are seen to have failed to have funded and overseen the training of sufficient healthcare professional numbers to meet growing demand, but also as they have not yet given assurances to non-British EU-citizens that they will be given residency rights.
While promises had been made to EU citizens living and working in the UK, trust in these claims has been shattered by a number of recent scandals that have seen many EU citizens accidentally receive letters informing them they are to be deported, and an increased awareness of statelessness of some young people who do not have British parents, but who were born here.