NHS visa scheme: Society petitions home secretary

Published: 04 February 2020 Government & NHS

A letter has been sent to the home secretary asking which allied health professionals will be included in the promised NHS visa scheme.

The proposal in the Conservative Party’s manifesto promised an NHS job offer alongside ‘fast-track entry, reduced visa fees and dedicated support to come to the UK with their families’ to any overseas qualified health professionals, nursing and medical staff.

Now the UK has left the European Union, the Society and professional bodies have written to Priti Patel MP to clarify that allied health professionals in the visa scheme will include medical physicists, clinical and biomedical engineers, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers.

The letter was co-signed by Gill Hodges, SCoR president, as well as the presidents of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, the Academy for Healthcare Science, the British Institute of Radiology, the Royal College of Physicians, and the Royal College of Radiologists.

The letter says, "These groups are an essential, but often hidden, part of the multidisciplinary healthcare workforce.

“A radiotherapy service, for example, could not function without these personnel, who are key to the delivery of successful clinical patient outcomes.

“These roles are also shortage occupations. This shortfall cannot be redressed within the next five years with the current levels of training.

“Contribution to the workforce from immigration is therefore essential and we are concerned they may not be included in the manifesto pledge.”

Read the full letter.