• 15 September 2021
  • 2 min read

Chief Nurse Emphasises The Importance Of Overseas Recruitment As Debate Heats Up

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Mat Martin
    • Richard Gill
    • Laura Bosworth
  • 1
  • 677
“The government’s nursing recruitment targets are ambitious – and quite how they can be achieved without overseas Nurses remains to be seen.”

Just days after Dido Harding stated her intention of ending the reliance on overseas Nurses in the NHS, Chief Nurse Ruth May has suggested that international Nursing recruitment must continue.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

‘A Vital Part Of The NHS’

Student Nurse Applications On The Rise

Introduction

The NHS’ top Nurse is highly influential, and the timing of her comments has intensified the debate over what the NHS’ future recruitment policy should look like.

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‘A Vital Part Of The NHS’

Ruth May’s comments marked the anniversary of Windrush Day and were a timely reminder of the inestimable contribution that overseas workers have made to the NHS.

“International recruitment has always been, and should continue to be, a vital part of the NHS” she said.

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Before the pandemic began, there was a shortage of around 40,000 full-time Nurses in the NHS.

During the pandemic, the NHS has been on an international recruitment drive; more than 8000 overseas Nurses were recruited between the Summer of 2020 and March 2021 alone.

That’s despite Brexit having a demonstrably negative impact on international nursing recruitment.

Dido Harding’s suggestions that the NHS should end its reliance on overseas recruitment have therefore offered lots of ammunition for sceptics.

The government’s nursing recruitment targets are ambitious – and quite how they can be achieved without overseas Nurses remains to be seen.

Student Nurse Applications On The Rise

Furthermore, critics have questioned not only whether the NHS can cope without overseas Nurses, but why it would want to.

The NHS, as the biggest employer in Europe, is innately international and diverse – a reflection of Britain itself.

Student nurse applications have hit record numbers – but those numbers are nowhere near the level required to make the NHS domestically self-reliant. Ruth May added: “bringing in the sharpest talent from abroad should go hand in hand with continuing to train up the best and brightest at home.”

And this view seems to echo the opinion of many others.

Nonetheless, Dido Harding is applying to replace Sir Simon Stevens as head of the NHS.

Should she be successful, the way the NHS recruits Nurses may well begin to shift.

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About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

  • 1 Comments
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    • Suzanne Loveridge 27 days ago
      Suzanne Loveridge
    • Suzanne Loveridge
      27 days ago

      So, with us not having enough domestic ‘product’ which I see as a snobbish reliance on a degree, providing nurses ... read more

      • Thanks Suzanne. You're certainly not the first to share those thoughts on this site - you're not alone. Hey, would you like to write an opinion article on this and we'll publish it? It would be good t... read more

        Thanks Suzanne. You're certainly not the first to share those thoughts on this site - you're not alone. Hey, would you like to write an opinion article on this and we'll publish it? It would be good to really air some of this, get opposing views. Something needs to be done, we can all see that.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah