The College has welcomed a recommendation by the Migration Advisory Council (MAC) that all ‘medical practitioners’ be included in the shortage occupation list (SOL) following a review. If a profession is on the SOL, it is easier to recruit people from outside the UK.

In January, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, The Royal College of Physicians of London, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow submitted joint evidence to the MAC. We called for all physician posts across the NHS to be included on the SOL to ensure that vacant posts can be filled if and when the UK leaves the EU.

The decision by the MAC to include this recommendation represents a significant shift. If adopted by the Home Office, it will help tackle the workforce shortages that affect our Fellows and Members. 

A joint statement by the Colleges said:

We welcome this report, and its recommendation that the category of medical practitioners is added to the Shortage Occupation List. This is a step in the right direction if we’re to begin to address the current NHS workforce shortages throughout the UK.

What is also clear from this report, and the evidence submitted to it from a range of health sector bodies, is that workforce planning remains a critical issue for our health service, and that further urgent action is required from government if we’re to ensure that the NHS is sufficiently staffed to meet the demands of a twenty-century century health service.

Paul Gillen

Contact: Paul Gillen 0131 247 3658