What does the Immigration White Paper mean for the NHS?

What does Immigration White Paper mean for the NHS?
© iStock/georgeclerk

According to NHS Employers chief executive, Danny Mortimer, the Immigration White Paper proposals do not provide a long-term solution to NHS needs.

In response to the Immigration White Paper, NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer said: “A recent report commissioned by the Cavendish Coalition revealed the NHS could be short of 51,000 nurses – enough to staff 45 hospitals – by the end of the Brexit transition period.”

What do you know about the Immigration White Paper?

Ahead of Brexit, the White Paper is essentially a document setting out proposed new laws before they are formalised in a government bill. The BBC reports that the Immigration White Paper includes:

  • Scrapping the current cap on the number of skilled workers such as doctors or engineers from the EU and elsewhere
  • A consultation on a minimum salary requirement of £30,000 for skilled migrants seeking five-year visas
  • Low-skilled workers may be able to apply for short-term visas of up to a year
  • Visitors from the EU will not need visas
  • The new system is to be phased from 2021

Can a more sophisticated system emerge from the Immigration White Paper?

Mortimer adds: “The proposals in the Immigration White Paper do not provide a long-term solution to the needs of the NHS across nursing and other professions.

“They continue to confuse high pay with high skill and high value: the staff from the UK and around the world working in the NHS and social care do not command high pay but are hugely skilled and provide vital services to our families.”

“We recognise that very welcome short-term action has been taken to support the NHS this year, and also appreciate the opportunity to engage further on the issues in the White Paper in the hope that the NHS, along with other sectors of the economy can see a more sophisticated system emerge as a result.”


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