Our International Health Service

This report from Global Future looks at the difficulties the NHS is facing in attempts to attract the clinical staff it needs from the EU. The report discusses the need to ensure that the NHS is sustainable in the future by enabling it to continue to recruit staff from all over the world. 

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The NHS relies on staff from all over the world. Over a quarter of NHS doctors – including almost half in some vital specialities – and almost one in six nurses, are from overseas. But following the Brexit referendum the NHS is finding it increasingly difficult to attract the clinical staff it needs from the EU. The number of EU nurses is already falling, and the proportion of European doctors gaining a licence in the UK has fallen from 25% of the total in 2014 to just 16% in 2017.

This is making the NHS increasingly dependent on staff from outside the EU, who are being refused entry into the UK in their hundreds. Without relaxations in those restrictions and a commitment to erecting no new barriers to potential NHS staff from the EU after Brexit, the NHS will be unable to recruit the staff it needs.

Full report: Our International Health Service

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UK needs a coherent approach to the recruitment of international doctors

The UK urgently needs a joined-up approach to recruitment of international doctors, according to BMJ editorial. 

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An editorial in The BMJ, suggests that the UK government’s decision to review the visa regime for international doctors is “a rare glimmer of common sense in an issue that has been more usually characterised by national policy incoherence.”

However, they warn that the “underlying problems of the UK approach to international recruitment of health professionals” remains to be “acknowledged and addressed.”

These problems “owe much to a debilitating mix of conflicting policy goals and inadequate national health workforce planning and funding,” they explain. “This has led to a long-term ‘stop-go’ approach to international recruitment of doctors and other health professionals, which has often been misaligned with domestic health workforce and immigration policies.”

The article recommends more effective working between the Home Office and Department of Health to ensure that international recruitment is “fair and consistent”.

Full article: Buchan, J. & Charlesworth, A. | International rescue | BMJ  | 13th June 2018

See also: Joined-up approach needed to recruit overseas doctors | OnMedica

 

Current state of medical recruitment in England

British Medical Association (BMA) finds nearly three quarters of all medical specialties had unfilled training places last year, and many specialties were suffering year-on-year recruitment shortfalls. 

The BMA has warned that a shortage of doctors across most specialities of medicine is putting patient care at risk. The BMA obtained data from 2013 onwards, on the current state of recruitment into pre- and postgraduate medical education and training.

Analysis of the data revealed that:

  • Although still highly competitive, fewer people are applying to medical school.
  • Foundation programme posts and applications are decreasing.
  • Applications to specialty training are decreasing.
  • Nearly three quarters of all medical specialties faced under-recruitment in 2016.
  • There are geographical variations in recruitment trends, with the northern regions bearing the brunt of the recruitment crisis.

To address this workforce crisis, the BMA is calling for greater career flexibility, improved health and wellbeing services, rota gaps to be tackled, maintaining the NHS’s ability to recruit from overseas and improved workforce planning.

Full briefing: The state of pre and post-graduate medical recruitment in England,
September 2017

GP recruitment numbers rise slowly

GP full-time equivalent (FTE) numbers for England have risen slowly in the past quarter but doctors’ leaders have said the 1% rise is too little and too slow. | via OnMedica

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New data from NHS Digital published yesterday shows that the total GP full time equivalent (FTE) workforce in England was 34,242 as of 30 June, which was an increase of 321 (0.9%) from 33,921 in March.

The total GP headcount, as of the end of June, was 42,215, representing a rise of 324 (0.8%) from 41,891 in March.

These GP workforce statistics for England are compiled from the data supplied by approximately 7,500 GP practices across the country.

The BMA said the rises were worryingly small, showing an increase of barely 1%.

Full story at OnMedica

Related: Renewed drive to recruit overseas GPs to UK

New workforce supply resource from NHS Employers

NHS Employers has developed a range of new workforce supply web pages to support healthcare employers.

The resource has been set up to help organisations consider the political and social context they are employing staff in, and to develop a workforce strategy that is wide ranging, yet achievable. It addresses the challenges employers face in terms of planning for educating, recruiting, developing and retaining their staff.

Visit the Workforce Supply resource here

 

Toolkit to ensure good information is available for people looking to join the healthcare sector

This chapter is all about supporting managers, mentors, JCP advisors, training providers and colleges to provide training and guidance to individuals who are interested in a career within the health sector, or who want to progress their current career in the health sector | Ambition London Toolkit

The chapter is broken down into smaller sections:

  • Section 1 – Confidence Building
  • Section 2 – Job and Programme Search Skills
  • Section 3 – Applying for a Job in the Health Sector
  • Section 4 – Continuing Professional Development
  • Section 5 – Planning for Success
  • Section 6 – Developing Mentor Skills
  • Section 7 – Advanced Learning Loans
  • Section 8 – Career Maps

The full toolkit is available here

Perceived causes of differential attainment in UK postgraduate medical training

Woolf, K. et al. (2016) BMJ Open. 6:e013429

booksObjectives: Explore trainee doctors’ experiences of postgraduate training and perceptions of fairness in relation to ethnicity and country of primary medical qualification.

 

Conclusions: BME UKGs and IMGs can face additional difficulties in training which may impede learning and performance. Non-stigmatising interventions should focus on trainee–trainer relationships at work and organisational changes to improve trainees’ ability to seek social support outside work.

Read the full abstract and article here