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Immigration rules preventing the recruitment of nurses

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The BBC has recently revealed that immigration rules could potentially harm patients, particularly in the forthcoming winter months. Chief Executives of ten NHS Trusts from throughout England have written to the Home Secretary to complain that large numbers of applications from non-EU nurses have been rejected. They are concerned that the nurses that have been recruited from overseas are being prevented from taking up posts in the NHS which could lead to staffing shortages.

The NHS heads have asked that nurses be included on a list of occupations with shortages, which incredibly already includes ballet dancers and computer games designers.

A spokesperson for the Home Office confirmed that they would monitor the situation but that hundreds of Certificates of Sponsorship, allowing NHS Trusts to recruit from countries such as the Philippines, have been returned unused. They currently have no plans to increase the annual limit on nurses allowed into the UK.

The nursing shortages are particularly felt in neonatal and cancer care, as well as paediatric and geriatric wards. 

By Gemma Crompton, trainee solicitor in clinical negligence