Responding to the briefing by the Nuffield Trust on international staff in health and care, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“If you needed any proof of how dependent we are on our international staff this is it – our hospitals, community services and social care would collapse without the skill and dedication of a wide range of professional and support staff, many not only born overseas but trained overseas as well.
“For the future we should grow more of our own and make sure we do not plunder vulnerable health systems overseas, but we should also celebrate and value the diversity of our staff. They deserve our thanks and we need to send a clear message that they will always be welcome in this country.
“And in many ways they are more valuable than ever. More than three in four health leaders have told us that understaffing is putting patient safety and care at risk.
“As well as expanding training in the UK, the incoming Government must make sure that future immigration policy supports international recruitment and helps retain existing staff from overseas.”