Responding to the Welsh Government’s call for a migration system that works for Wales, Nesta Lloyd-Jones, Assistant Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said: “Many jobs across the NHS and social care do not meet the UK Governments proposed salary threshold of £25,600. This includes people working in care homes or providing personal care to vulnerable people in their homes, community nurses, mental health practitioners and so on.
“At any one time there are at least 200,000 vacancies in health and social care throughout the UK, and this means we need to encourage migrant workers to train, work and live in Wales to provide assistance and support to people of Wales where there are current gaps in terms of skills and numbers.
“We need the ability to train more people at home while recruiting from Europe and across the globe to match the level of demand on health and social care. As has been well documented over the winter months, the health and care system are placed under incredible pressure at certain times of the year. According to the Migration Advisory Committee, current proposals would stand to increase demand on social care and if we limit our ability to fill these vacancies. Since health and social care are becoming more integrated in Wales, we believe this will only increase the pressure on the NHS and the ensuing rise in demand will be more difficult to plan for and mitigate.
“In Wales, our aging population has increasingly complex health and care needs, and we should do all we can to respond to this changing landscape to keep people happy, healthy and independent for longer.
“The NHS in Wales values the contribution EU/EEA nationals and international staff make to our health and social care system, not just because of the vital expertise they provide, but the value they add to our communities. We will continue to raise awareness of the Settles Status Scheme across the NHS and encourage and support EU nationals to apply for the Scheme.”