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NHS England announces extra funds for overseas nurse recruitment

NHS England announces extra funds for overseas nurse recruitment

NHS organisations recruiting nurses from overseas will be paid more than double per nurse hired in a bid to help tackle expected additional demand and workforce shortages.

NHS England is expected to provide an additional £7,000 of funding for each nurse recruited in 2022-23, more than double the £3,000 maximum currently offered to organisations.

The higher offer is ‘based on the level of expected demand’ and is aimed to ‘to help grow the workforce, manage the cost of operational pressures and the backlog of elective care’, it said.

It has been made available to account for the rising costs of flights, accommodation, and OSCE test of competence preparation costs, according to NHS employers.

This comes as part of a larger push to increase overseas nurse recruitment into the NHS. Earlier this month, health and social care secretary Therese Coffee announced that an additional £15m of funding would be made available boost recruitment of international care staff.

Previously, overseas nurse recruitment has come under criticism for the use of repayment clauses. These contractual clauses allow employers to charge recruits for expenses such as flights, accommodation, and training costs.

This has lead to some overseas nurses being charged as much as £14,000 after trying to leave their roles.

NHS Employers did not say whether this additional funding is expected to reduce the need for repayment clauses.

Each trust wishing to apply for the new funding is required to fill out an application template by 5pm on 11 October 2022. Arrivals from 1 January 2023 to 31 March 2023 will be supported only if they have passed their English language tests and computer based assessments before arrival.

This month, the NMC announced that it would be considering proposals to make its English language requirements more flexible to help support an increasing volumes of overseas nurse recruitment.

Matthew McClelland, executive director of strategy and insight at the NMC, said that ‘internationally trained professionals make a vital contribution to safe, effective and kind nursing and midwifery across the UK’.


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