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Could PM Boris Johnson’s Video Message Signal Positive Changes To Come In Immigration?

Posted by: Gherson Immigration

Following his discharge from St Thomas’ Hospital on 12 April 2020, Boris Johnson released a heart-felt video message addressing the nation and expressing his gratitude to the NHS for saving his life.

Current staffing shortages in the NHS stand at around 100,000, and could increase to 250,000 or more by 2030, according to the Health Foundation and NHS data released in November 2019. The NHS is also known for heavy reliance on international recruitment. According to ONS figures, out of the 1 million plus people working in healthcare roles in NHS hospitals in England in March 2019, 6% were EU nationals and 8% non-EU nationals – and these figures did not include the rest of the UK or NHS infrastructure support staff.

Despite some effort to introduce a new visa for the NHS, current UK immigration policy as well as the proposed points-based skills system remain restrictive with respect to the medical and support staff the NHS urgently needs in order to maintain treatment standards and to carry out essential medical duties. As EU free movement is set to come to an end, the staffing shortage for the NHS can only become more acute. 

Strikingly, during the PM’s video address he thanked two nurses in particular, Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal, who looked after him overnight, when “things could have gone either way”. We hope that in light of the gravity of the pandemic and the importance of the NHS’ role in keeping the nation safe, the PM’s message could signal positive changes for UK immigration policy, not only for NHS workers but potentially also to other essential workers who may not qualify as skilled workers under the proposed immigration rules to be implemented in 2021

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2020

Angela Lei 

  Angela Lei

  Consultant solicitor

 

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