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19.11.18

May’s border control plans will 'cut off the supply of nurses from overseas'

NHS Employers has criticised claims made by the Prime Minister about border control as “of huge concern” to the NHS, and added that it was vital to get a new immigration policy role.

Speaking at the CBI conference, Theresa May said her Brexit deal would stop EU migrants “jumping the queue”, and would make migration skills-based.

NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer labelled the remarks are of “huge concern”, and said that the NHS needs to increase the number of UK trained health professionals, with nurses in particular.

He said: “It’s vital to get the new immigration policy right if we are to keep health and social care services open, to support the programme of economic development Mrs May described to the CBI.”

“The recommendations on salary thresholds and having no need for a so-called 'lower skilled', lower-wage route into the UK would cut off the supply of nurses from overseas and there would be no mechanism for employing people into care worker roles.

“It would be completely unacceptable to allow vital social care services to close under the strain of not having the people required to provide the necessary care.”

May’s speech said: “In the future, outside the EU, immigration will continue to make a positive contribution to our national life.

“The United Kingdom is a country that values the contribution that immigration has made to our society and economy over many years.”

“But the difference will be this: once we have left the EU, we will be fully in control of who comes here.

“It will no longer be the case that EU nationals, regardless of the skills or experience they have to offer, can jump the queue ahead of engineers from Sydney or software developers from Delhi.”

Despite Mortimer’s stark warning, he said NHS Employers were looking forward to engaging with the government over the coming months to ensure a final proposal meets the requirements of the health and social care sector.

May also said her agreement would bring “control over our borders, by bringing an end to free movement, once and for all” and “control of our money, so we can decide for ourselves how to spend it, and can do so on priorities like the NHS.”

Image credit -  Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

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