Confirmed reports coming in from The African Nurse’s corespondent in the United Kingdom has confirmed that the UK government through the Department of Health and Social Care has commenced strong moves to extend the recruitment of healthcare assistants from overseas country to boost care home staffing and improve healthcare delivery in the health and social care sector.
The move, which was first revealed by Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay earlier this month, could potentially see thousands of healthcare workers coming to Britain.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are incredibly grateful to all our hard working care staff and are doing all we can to help them continue to offer the highest standards of care.
“Our new international recruitment taskforce is considering innovative ways to boost staffing numbers within health and adult social care.
“As part of this, we will work with the sector and recruitment experts to examine how to recruit staff from overseas more effectively into adult social care.”
Reacting to the news, Professor Vic Rayner OBE, chief executive of the National Care Forum, said much work remained to be done to make this “accelerated push a meaningful reality for employers”.
Rayner said fundamental issues for staff coming to the UK, including pay, housing, transport and supporting the recruitment and employment experience, needed to be addressed if the policy was to succeed.
The NCF said recent changes enabling access to overseas staff through the Shortage Occupation List must be made permanent immediately.
“This has to be part of a much wider strategic approach to the long-term sustainability of the workforce which includes better pay, terms and conditions,” Rayner added.
“It is imperative that alongside this move is a streamlined long-term People Plan for the sector that brings meaningful long-term relief to the care sector.”
Reporting from United Kingdom, Opeyemi Famuyiro, UK corespondent, The African Nurse Network