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International Recruitment of Health and Social Care Personnel: Code of Practice

Volume 689: debated on Thursday 25 February 2021

I am announcing today the publication of the revised code of practice for the international recruitment of health and social care personnel.

The new code represents an important step forward in the UK’s approach to ethical international recruitment. It takes account of the latest World Health Organisation advice on ethical international recruitment and promotes effective, fair and ethical international recruitment practices, which should be embedded across every part of the health and social care systems. This is an important step as the Government’s manifesto commitment for 50,000 more nurses by 2024 will see a significant increase in the number of nurses who will come from overseas alongside the growth in UK-trained nurses.

The code represents part of the UK’s contribution to international health worker mobility that offers benefits to migrants, their country of origin and to the UK. With a projected 18 million more health workers needed to achieve universal health coverage in low and lower-middle income countries, the code sets out the UK’s approach to supporting international health and social care systems, alongside safeguards on active recruitment of staff from countries with the most pressing health and social care workforce needs.

The code clearly sets out responsibilities for recruiters, employers and the Government on how to maintain ethical recruitment on an ongoing basis.