The UK Government has widened the global market from which it can ethically recruit health and social care staff by aligning with World Health Organization (WHO) Code of Practice.
The move is designed to help meet the UK’s target of delivering 50,000 more nurses by 2024 and safeguards against recruitment from 47 countries on the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguards List. Previously, the UK had listed 152 countries where recruiters were not able to actively recruit unless there was a government to government agreement in place.
Minister for Care, Helen Whateley (pictured) said: “I am hugely grateful for all of the frontline health and social care workers from overseas who have worked tirelessly to save lives and provide the best possible care during this pandemic.
“We will work with countries all over the world to promote the best standards of ethical recruitment of health and social care staff and I look forward to welcoming more incredible talent to the UK.
“Alongside our ambition to increase the number of UK-based nurses, this will allow us to continue to deliver world-class care to patients for years to come.”
The Government said international recruitment was one part of the Long Term Plan to ensure the NHS had the staff it needs in order to help achieve a sustainable health and social care workforce to meet the UK’s needs.
It said home-grown supply of health and social care staff was increasing through a range of government measures, which included more training, retaining more staff and encouraging those who have left to return.
The Government said there were over 11,000 more nurses working in the NHS than last year.
The safeguards list of 47 countries can be found here.