Today (5 March) marks the first Overseas NHS Workers Day, launched by the Doctors' Association UK, in recognition of the extraordinary contribution that health care staff who have migrated to the UK have made throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
A government bill, being backed by the RCN and others, to grant international health and care workers Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is having its second reading when Parliament returns for physical sittings.
RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “We are proud to recognise the work of internationally educated nursing staff. For years, they have played a key role in our health and care services. This has been brought to the fore in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite this enormous contribution, some internationally recruited nursing staff face considerable barriers to living and working in the UK. Our immigration system should work for the people who have given so much for the health and care of the country, not against them.
“The government must recognise the contribution of internationally educated nursing staff throughout this pandemic and grant automatic leave to remain to these workers, and dependents.”