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UK lifts restrictions on recruiting nurses from overseas

The move is designed to ease the pressure on the NHS after the cap on NHS trusts recruiting expensive agency staff

The government is looking to aid recruitment in nursing by temporarily lifting the restrictions on appointing nurses from across the globe.

Nurses from outside the European Economic area will now have their applications prioritised, due to the occupation being adding to the government’s Shortage Occupation List.

The move is looking to ease the pressure on the NHS after a cap on NHS trusts using expensive agency staff, the Department of Health said.

Speaking about the decision Jeremy Hunt, the Health secretary, said: “Safe staffing across all our hospitals and care homes is a crucial priority.

“The temporary changes announced today will ensure the NHS has the nurses it needs to deliver the highest standards of care without having to rely on rip-off staffing agencies that cost the taxpayer billions of pounds a year.

“We are also recruiting more homegrown nurses than ever to deliver a truly seven-day NHS. We are investing in our future workforce with a record 50,000 nurses currently in training.”

The independent Migration Advisory Committee will review the temporary change, and will present further evidence to the government by next February.

Nursing training places have increased in England by 14% over the past two years and the government is forecasting that more than 23,000 extra nurses will be in place by 2019.

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