- Healthcare workers will be added to the list of shortage professions in response to pandemic pressures
- Visa Boost Completes £ 462.5million Investment in Workforce Recruitment and Retention Fund
Thousands more social workers could be recruited to bolster the adult social workforce following temporary health and care visa changes to make social workers, nursing aides and home care workers eligible for a period of 12 months. This will make it easier, faster, cheaper and easier for social service employers to recruit eligible workers to fill critical gaps.
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted a series of staff shortages in the social care sector, putting pressure on the existing workforce, despite the incredible and tireless efforts of social care workers.
This boost follows the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Migration (MAC) to make social workers and home helpers eligible for the Health and Care visa and to add the profession to the list of professions in shortage (SOL) .
Inclusion on the shortage professions list will stipulate a minimum annual salary of £ 20,480 for caregivers to qualify for the health and care visa. The UK is committed to becoming a highly skilled, high-wage economy and minimum wages must reflect the professional skills required to provide quality care. The Health and Care visa will allow applicants and their dependents to benefit from expedited processing, resources dedicated to processing applications and reduced visa fees.
The temporary measures are expected to take effect early next year and will be in place for at least 12 months, providing a much-needed staff increase as the sector faces additional pressures from the pandemic, when they will be reviewed. . .
Health and Social Affairs Secretary Sajid Javid said:
It is vital that we continue to do all we can to protect the social care sector during the pandemic and beyond.
These measures, along with the series of support programs announced since September, will help us ensure the sustainability and short-term success of our long-term vision of rebuilding social services better.
I also urge all caregivers who have not yet done so to come forward to Get Boosted Now to protect themselves and those they care for.
Healthcare providers who do not already hold a Skilled Worker Route Sponsorship license can prepare to take advantage of the offer by registering for a sponsorship license prior to implementation.
Providers new to visa sponsorship will be supported through the process through a series of engagement activities in January and February, to introduce them to the system and find out how to act as a visa sponsor.
Social workers and caregivers recruited from the UK will be able to bring their dependents, including their partner and children, with the Health and Care visa offering a settlement route if they remain employed and wish to remain in the UK .
Interior Minister Priti Patel said:
The healthcare industry is facing unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic and the changes we have made to the healthcare and healthcare visa will strengthen the workforce and help alleviate some of the pressures currently on.
This is our new Immigration Plan in Action, which delivers on our commitment to support the NHS and the wider health and care sector by making the lives and work of healthcare professionals in the UK easier. United.
The move follows an investment of £ 465.2million to support the recruitment and retention of social service staff during the difficult winter period.
This is in addition to the £ 500million for training, skills and workforce welfare announced as part of the health and social care tax.
This funding comes on top of the £ 6bn committed to councils through unearmarked grants to tackle the impact of COVID-19 on their services, including adult social care, with full funding for care social benefits during the pandemic amounting to more than £ 2.5 billion. .
This follows broader plans to improve social care and achieve the ten-year vision set out in the White Paper on Adult Social Care Reform – ‘People at the Heart of Care’, which provided details on how over £ 1 billion for reforming the system will be spent over the next three years to improve the lives of those receiving care, as well as their families and caregivers. Further details on the integration will follow early next year.
Care Minister Gillian Keegan said:
Our social care staff have done a phenomenal job providing care under the most difficult circumstances.
We recognize the challenges that the workforce has faced, with ever increasing demand for services combined with the pandemic and existing staff shortages.
This change will promote the placement of more people as part of the implementation of our long-term strategy for an equitable and sustainable care sector that meets everyone’s needs.
It is mandatory for anyone working in nursing homes regulated by the CQC to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to comply with the regulations. Those working in broader social care settings must be fully immunized against COVID-19 by April 1, 2022.
Social service workers are also urged to come forward and be empowered now to protect themselves and those they care for from COVID-19 this winter.
NHS England has asked all vaccination centers to offer priority access to frontline staff, including unpaid caregivers and social support staff, which includes access to queue management waiting and priority lines, making it as easy as possible for anyone receiving or providing care, whether paid or unpaid. , to get their booster this winter.
Notes to Editors
- The Healthcare and Care Worker Visa was launched in August 2020 and it allows healthcare professionals to come or stay in the UK to work with the NHS, an NHS provider or in adult social services . The visa offers a 50% reduction in visa fees, exemption from the immigration health surcharge and faster decision after application.
- All roles of SOC code 6145 will be included in the scope of this visa change. According to the ONS, this includes job titles: nursing aide, nursing aide, nursing aide, home health aide, home health aide and nursing aide (nursing home).