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16 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Points-based immigration system will further pressure NHS during coronavirus crisis

By Samuel Horti

The government’s planned points-based immigration system will further escalate the NHS staffing crisis during the coronavirus pandemic, according to GlobalData.

Urte Jakimaviciute, senior director of market research at GlobalData Healthcare, said that just a “small fraction of nurses and care workers” would reach the £25,600 per year salary cap to get a maximum number of points under the scheme, and that the government would have to create a specific shortage occupation list. 

“The UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, receiving treatment from immigrant nurses before he got discharged to continue his recovery from Covid-19 is yet another example of NHS reliance on an international workforce,” Jakimaviciute said. “With a Covid-19 emergency looming and the Brexit transition period ending, the UK needs to put an effective immigration policy in place to control staffing gaps post-Brexit… It shouldn’t take a pandemic to provide the NHS with resources that it needs. An inability to adequately plan the workforce and workload will lead to further growing shortages and declining service quality of NHS.”

The UK’s number of nurses per head is lower than in Denmark, France, Germany, or Belgium, Jakimaviciute added.

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