Thursday, June 25, 2015

What's Next After The News of 30k Foreign Nurses To Be Kicked Out Of UK

Over the last few days, there have been a number of reports in the British press over a possible move by the current British Government to introduce new immigration rules from next April, which would mean that non-EU workers earning less than £35,000 a year after six years would be deported.

For many years now, we have had a shortage of nurses in the United Kingdom. Previously in the UK, the nursing route used to be through Diploma of Higher Education, where it was possible to obtain a full bursary or funding. So in effect the course was fully funded by the NHS, this therefore made nursing more accessible to applicants.

In recent years however, the only way to become a qualified nurse in the UK is through a university degree. There is funding for living expenses through a bursary, however this is means tested and therefore currently limits the number of applicants who can afford the training.

Those that would make very good nurses, however would possibly struggle with university education are also unable to become a fully qualified nurse due to the current training arrangements.

Combined with the cost of living being so high in the South East of England and
the starting salary of newly qualified staff nurses being so low, I am of the view that we will always struggle as a country to fill all the current nursing vacancies within the NHS through British nurses alone.

Maybe in time, the Government will look at these issues. However in the meantime, with the cost of living and housing rising, I believe that the NHS will always have to some degree rely on recruitment from overseas to fill nursing positions.

There are many thousands of Filipino nurses and healthcare workers in the UK, both within the NHS and working in private hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities, some of whom have been here for many years.

It would not make any sense at all, to suddenly send them back home just because they were earning less than £35,000 a year?.

Filipino healthcare workers are highly skilled, professional, caring and from the messages, comments and emails I have received, are highly praised and regarded by the British public.

Recently, the Daily Mail published a story following the conviction of nurse Victoriano Chua, who originated from the Philippines, where they described him as a 'Filipino serial killer'. They also published a headline 'NHS STILL hiring Filipino nurses'.

This led to racist comments and behaviour directed towards Filipino healthcare workers, as a result, I wrote a letter to the Daily Mail, which went viral and helped to organise a protest against the Daily Mail.

Following on from these actions I received many hundreds of comments from British doctors, patients and even senior NHS consultants, all praising the professionalism of Filipino healthcare workers.

I am of the firm belief that if the British Government started to send Filipino nurses back home after six years of loyal, dedicated service, there would be uproar from the British public. For this reason, I believe that this is just a headline story to demonstrate to the public that the Conservative government is addressing immigration concerns expressed by some voters.

However, in practice, I do not believe that any foreign nurses recruited in the NHS would be deported at all, it would just not make any sense.

Please find below a link to a survey which I have initiated and is being supported by many nurses in the UK, please could I ask you to sign and share, thanks so much.

https://m.facebook.com/l.php…

Malcolm Conlan,

UK, Blogger
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