Commenting on the announcement from the Migration Advisory Committee –that nurses are to be allowed to remain on the occupational shortages list for another three years – UNISON head of nursing Gail Adams said: “The NHS is still desperately short of nurses, so hospital trusts across the country will have breathed a collective sigh of relief at the news that they are to be allowed to continue recruiting staff from overseas.
“Ministers knew back in 2010, when they slashed the number of trainee nurse places, that they were storing up problems for the future. That ill-judged decision gave trusts no option but to look abroad to make up their depleted nursing numbers.
“While more student nurse places have since been made available, it will be another two years before the NHS starts to feel the benefit.
“Since its creation nurses from overseas have made a huge contribution to the NHS. Without them the health service could very well have gone under.”
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