Anger over delays for overseas care staff

CARE providers are angry over bureaucracy that is fuelling delays in recruiting overseas staff to help tackle huge shortages in the sector.

Both the NHS and the social care sector are suffering huge shortages in staff as we head into autumn and winter, when demand for healthcare surges.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said hiring more nurses from overseas would help relieve pressure on the NHS and has asked civil servants to increase overseas recruitment.

But while it welcomed his words, the social care provider organisation the Independent Care Group (ICG) said the real issue was Home Office bureaucracy.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We agree with the health secretary that we need more overseas staff to ease the shortage but the truth is Home Office bureaucracy is strangling the process.

“Care providers are waiting months to get their application for a licence to recruit overseas workers approved and in the meantime, care is suffering.

“So whilst we applaud the health secretary for highlighting the issue, he needs to get on to the Home Office and sort out the bottleneck, otherwise a situation that is already dire, will be critical this winter.

Last month, Skills for Care revealed that the number of vacant posts in social care had shot up by 55,000 in the past year – an increase of 52%.