RCN says fight will continue over Government's decision to double overseas surcharge

Press Response 12/10/2018

The UK Government has decided to double the overseas surcharge, which currently requires non-EEA nationals to pay a £200 health surcharge per family member

Maria Trewern, Chair of Council at the Royal College of Nursing, said:

“The RCN has been lobbying the Government to waive the overseas surcharge for non-EEA nursing staff, which not only imposes an enormous personal cost on hardworking nurses and healthcare assistants, but risks driving away overseas staff at a time we need them most.

"Patient care is suffering because we don't have enough nurses - there are 41,000 vacancies in England alone. In light of this, we have written to the Home Secretary presenting evidence of the negative effect these charges have, both on individuals and their families, and wider patient care.

"We have a clear mandate from our members to continue this fight, and get these punitive charges lifted for those dedicating their time to our NHS."


Notes to Editors

  • There are almost 25,000 nurses from outside the European Union working in the NHS in England – more than the 21,000 from within the EU’s borders.
  • In the NHS in England, 17,448 nurses report an Asian nationality (of these, 91 per cent are either Philippine or Indian). There are 6,899 nurses with an African nationality. The highest other nationality is Jamaican, with 448 nurses.
  • Under the system introduced in 2015, non-EEA nationals in the UK must pay a £200 overseas health surcharge per family member, for every year on the main sponsor’s work permit. In February, the Government confirmed it will double the cost from £200 to £400 later this year

Press Office Contacts

Katherine Jarman, Head of Media
020 7647 3484 / 077186 96838

Daniel Sutherland, Senior Media Officer
020 7647 3695

Nick Spears, Senior Media Officer
020 7647 3696

Out of hours duty press officer
020 7647 3633