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Tier 2 Visa Cap

Volume 643: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2018

3. What discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the effect of the tier 2 visa cap on recruitment in the NHS and social care sector. (905914)

In Oxfordshire, the situation with social care workers is at least as bad a problem. Of course we all very much welcome the removal of doctors and nurses from the cap, but what about social care workers? Why are we focusing on only half the problem?

Perhaps I can help the hon. Lady by pointing out that tier 2 visa cap is specifically for higher-paid workers. We do need to think about social care workers, but a lot of them are lower paid. That is why we are putting together a 10-year workforce plan for the health and social care sectors, both of which are very important. We will make sure that that goes hand in glove with the NHS plan that we announced yesterday.

The real effect of the cap is that there are not enough staff in the health service, as is shown by “NHS SOS”, a campaign run a few weeks ago in Stoke by The Sentinel that highlighted the lack of doctors and nurses. Realistically, what will the Secretary of State do to remedy that situation in Stoke-on-Trent? Will he meet people from The Sentinel so that they can present the evidence?

Let me tell the hon. Gentleman what we have been doing in the past five years: we have 14,300 more nurses, 10,100 more doctors, and over 40,000 more clinicians across different specialties. He will be very relieved to know that, on top of that, we are promising 50% more than his party did at the last election.