Overseas nurse recruitment ramps up while Government withdraws international nursing aid funding

Now despite around 180 projects already being prepared, the Government has reallocated £5m it promised to the campaign.

Matt Bodell
1 June 2021
corridor in hospital or clinic image

It comes as the Government attempts to meet its promise of 50,000 more nurses.

The recruitment of overseas nurses has been ramped up by the Government while simultaneously reneging on a pledge to provide £5m towards the training of nurses and midwives in developing countries.

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It comes as the Government attempts to meet its promise of 50,000 more nurses working in the health service by 2025.

Data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) reveals that over the past twelve months 9,156 nurses and midwives have joined the register from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) between April 2020 and April 2021, this compares to just 2,403 in the same period five years ago.

In 2018, the Government promised to show its support for the Nursing Now campaign which improves health by raising the status and profile of nursing on a global scale, specifically promoting the role and training in developing countries.

Now despite around 180 projects already being prepared, the Government has reallocated £5m it promised to the campaign.

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The move is part of a wider series of international aid cuts that have been implemented in response to the pandemic.

Disappointing.

Nursing leaders have questioned the ethics of bolstering our own nursing workforce from developing counties while systematically failing to invest and support these systems.

RCN interim director of nursing, policy and public affairs Jude Diggins said: “It is extremely disappointing the government is turning its back on its own commitments to nurses and midwives in some of the poorest countries in the world, at a time when they need more support than ever.

 “There is a recognised global shortage of nurses and midwives and our colleagues across the world are exhausted from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 “The UK should be leading on addressing this shortage and providing further training and support for nurses and midwives in developing countries, rather than reneging on its existing commitments.

 “The government is also looking to demonstrate its leadership on global health at the upcoming G7 Summit. Now more than ever the UK must demonstrate how it values nurses in the UK and across the world.”

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