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UK agrees to cease recruitment of Caribbean nurses

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London United Kingdom July 04: The British government has told the country's National Health Service (NHS) to stop recruiting junior nurses from overseas. Caribbean authorities have long rued the drain of nurses from the region who are lured to more lucrative jobs in Britain and the United States.However the British Royal College of Nursing is not in favour of a recruitment ban.

The Royal College of Nursing attacked the move, warning it would be impossible to replace retiring nurses with home-grown talent alone.

It accused the government of making international nurses a scapegoat for the current financial crisis in the NHS, which has seen thousands of posts cut in recent months.

The decision to remove general nurses from the shortage occupation list, means employers will need to advertise any vacancies first and only if they are unable to fill the post can they turn to international recruitment.

At present, this change applies to nursing posts graded at Agenda for Change bands five and six.

British Health Minister Lord Warner said the government had invested heavily in nurse training and recruitment policies.

As a result, there were now 82,000 more nurses working in the NHS than when the government came to power in 1997 - and record numbers in training.

He said, "We are now moving away from year-on-year growth in the NHS workforce to more of a steady state where there is a closer match between demand and supply.

"Large-scale international nurse recruitment across the NHS was only ever intended to be a short-term measure.

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