College welcomes Migration Advisory Committee annual report

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has welcomed the annual report of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which recommended that care workers should become immediately eligible for health and care worker visas.

It comes as the care sector continues to face workforce shortages. The MAC suggested changes to allow employers to sponsor visas for workers on more than £20,480 a year.

The College has previously lobbied to add all physician posts to the Shortage Occupation List for a defined period of time to provide a period of stability for the NHS.

However, we also recognise the need for workforce stability in the care sector, so that people can continue to receive care in community settings, and to avoid unnecessary delayed discharges from hospitals, which can negatively impact on patient welfare and hospital capacity.

Professor Andrew Elder, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh said:

In the past few weeks we have clearly seen, in all parts of the United Kingdom, the need for more care workers. Without them, many people cannot live with dignity and independence in the community and many become inappropriately delayed in hospital beds.

The workforce crisis in the UK is not confined to health professionals. We strongly support the view of the MAC that care workers should be placed on the Shortage Occupation List. It is only by doing this, and enhancing their remuneration and training, that we will improve care and avoid unnecessary delays in discharge from hospital.