Refugees being supported into NHS roles

Refugees are being supported into NHS roles as millions of pounds of new funding is helping low-income countries train healthcare staff.

Speaking at the Nurse Support Programme Celebration and Learning Event in Liverpool, Health Minister Edward Argar said that by the end of 2021/22, over 110 refugees and displaced people from the UK and abroad will have been supported into NHS roles including healthcare assistants or fully qualified nurses.

The programme’s work supports UK-based refugees with health and care experience and those with similar skills in overseas refugee camps into appropriate NHS roles, following a course to assess their skill level.

Alongside this, the government is giving £5 million of funding to the global shortage of quality health workers and increase access to vital services for the poorest and most vulnerable around the world, including refugee populations. The £5 million will improve the quality and quantity of the health workforce in these countries by training more nurses, including refugees or displaced people, supporting health workforce planning to improve local recruitment and retention, and building the capacity of training institutions through NHS partnerships.

Argar said: “It may be called the National Health Service, but its workforce is truly international, with over 200 nationalities represented within its numbers. This programme is a fantastic example of innovation and cross-system working. It started with a novel idea – to support displaced people with valuable skills and experience into NHS roles. But that idea only reached fruition because of impressive collaboration and teamwork.

“While we are absolutely delighted that the candidates today have chosen to work in the NHS, we know that the world is struggling to train, employ and retain a sufficient and skilled health workforce. I am, therefore, delighted to announce that my Department is spending £5m on the Building the Future International Workforce Programme. The Programme aims to address the shortage of quality health workers and increase access to vital services for the poorest and most vulnerable including refugee populations.”

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