A fifth of NHS workers in England are international nationals

A fifth of NHS workers in England are international nationals, in accordance with estimates, whereas prime medical doctors are allowed to work overseas.

Three in 10 nurses and greater than a 3rd of medical doctors are non-UK residents – the primary time this milestone has been reached.

Health chiefs have warned that abroad recruitment can’t fill vacancies within the well being service ceaselessly, including that the figures replicate how the NHS depends upon worldwide workers to cease it ‘buckling under pressure’.

It comes as a current Mail on Sunday investigation revealed that NHS workers at each degree are working remotely in international locations reminiscent of Australia and Japan.

Critics have warned that permitting workers to work overseas places sufferers’ lives in danger.

Some 214 nationalities are now represented in the NHS workforce. Pictured: UK Health Secretary Victoria Atkins

Some 214 nationalities at the moment are represented within the NHS workforce. Pictured: UK Health Secretary Victoria Atkins

The record total includes three in ten nurses and more than a third of doctors being non-UK residents. Pictured: General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Pat Cullen

The document complete contains three in ten nurses and greater than a 3rd of medical doctors being non-UK residents. Pictured: General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Pat Cullen

At least 335 workers from 33 trusts have been granted to work from a distinct nation up to now two years – together with consultants who can earn a primary wage of as much as £126,000.

According to the newest obtainable knowledge from NHS Digital, a 3rd of the 335,763 full-time equal (FTE) nurses and well being guests working in England in September whose nationality was identified are international nationals.

The determine is up from the 2 in 10 non-UK workers from three years earlier.

It additionally marks the best proportion of international nationals working within the well being service since present knowledge started in 2009.

The commonest international nationality is Indian, accounting for 10.1 per cent of all FTE nurses and well being guests, adopted by Filipino, Nigerian and Irish.

There has been a equally sharp rise within the proportion of hospital and group well being service medical doctors who’re non-UK nationals, which now stands at greater than a 3rd of the overall.

Indian was the most typical non-UK nationality amongst this group, accounting for 8 per cent of all medical doctors, adopted by Pakistani, Egyptian and Nigerian.

Danny Mortimer, chief government of the NHS Employers organisation, stated the evaluation ‘shows how reliant the NHS has become on its talented international workforce’.

He additionally stated that with out such workers the well being service ‘could have very easily buckled under the pressures it has been put under’, together with rising demand, the pandemic and strike motion.

Mr Mortimer added: ‘Teams across the NHS are hugely appreciative to their overseas colleagues for their support and contribution. But there is no room for complacency, as we will not be able to continue to draw on international recruitment to fill NHS vacancies forever.

‘If anything, retention is just as important as attracting new staff into the NHS and will be key in the short term to preventing pressures from worsening and ensuring the recruitment base we are looking to build from has solid foundations.

‘Expanding the number of staff we train here is also important, so it is vital the continued expansion of training and education, set out in the NHS England long-term workforce plan, is maintained.’

Not all NHS workers roles have seen an increase within the share of the workforce who’re international nationals.

The determine for consultants has remained broadly unchanged, whereas the determine for midwives stands at 9 per cent – an increase on final 12 months however a return to ranges seen in 2009.

Some 214 totally different international nationalities at the moment are represented within the NHS, with international locations starting from India, Portugal and Ghana – all within the prime 10 – to smaller nations reminiscent of Tonga, Liechtenstein and the Solomon Islands.

Lucina Rolewicz, researcher on the unbiased think-tank The Nuffield Trust, stated the NHS has turn out to be ‘increasingly reliant on overseas recruitment to fill staffing gaps’, with international nurses proving ‘pivotal’ to the Government assembly its 2019 pledge to extend the variety of nurses in England by 50,000.

She added: ‘This is far from a sustainable, long-term solution. The NHS is still competing with other health systems for overseas staff and in some cases our working conditions, pay and career prospects may look less favourable compared to other countries.

‘Not only this, but of those overseas workers that do join the UK’s nursing and midwifery workforce, practically two in 5 left inside 5 years of becoming a member of the skilled register within the newest 12 months of knowledge.

‘The long-term workforce plan proposes focusing more on expanding domestic training and increasing the number of home-trained graduates working in the NHS – but these plans will only come to fruition if we reduce the number of people quitting training and attract more graduates to choose NHS jobs and then to stay longer.’

The workforce plan, revealed in 2023, set out steps to recruit hundreds extra NHS workers in England, which might add a further 60,000 medical doctors and 170,000 extra nurses by 2036/37.

Alex Baylis, assistant director of coverage at well being charity The King’s Fund, stated: ‘There are currently over 120,000 posts that are vacant in the NHS in England, including 42,000 nursing posts and nearly 9,000 medical posts.

‘This is largely because, over the last five years or more, workforce planning has failed to keep pace with increasing demand. This level of vacancies is rightly a big worry to the public – in last year’s British Social Attitudes survey of satisfaction with the NHS, rising staffing was seen as the highest precedence.

‘Since professional training takes several years, the NHS will be highly dependent on recruiting from overseas for at least the next five years, and retaining current staff, if vacancies are to be filled.

‘Staff from overseas are – and always have been – absolutely essential to the NHS and must be recognised and valued as such.

‘The NHS needs to make sure they are well supported as they get used to our system, they have access to ongoing training and career progression and, above all, they are treated fairly and not discriminated against.’

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman stated: ‘International recruitment has a valuable role in helping the NHS deliver its world-class care, but it is important we boost the domestic workforce and decrease our reliance on agency staff and overseas workers.

‘The first ever NHS long-term workforce plan was commissioned by the Government to train, retain and reform the workforce, and put the NHS on a sustainable footing into the future.

‘Backed by £2.4 billion, the plan will double the number of medical school places, almost double the number of adult nurse training places, and increase the number of GP training places by 50 per cent by 2031.

‘Through these domestic training expansions, we expect around 10 per cent of our workforce to be recruited internationally in 15 years’ time, in comparison with practically 1 / 4 right now.’