UK suspends recruitment of Indian nurses as COVID-19 surge

Representative Image: Travel Stock/Shutterstock

London: The British Health Ministry has advised to temporarily stopped the recruitment of nurses from India considering the extreme spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

The UK’s decision would be in force till further orders may be issued when the COVID-19 situation improves in India and the directives in this regard have been communicated by NHS England to various trusts and recruiting agencies.

However, the UK’s move has delayed the departure of several Indian nurses who had completed all their recruitment procedures, to Britain. Even though they would now have to wait for the pandemic to be brought under some control in India to fly to the UK, these nurses could retain their job offers as the NHS England has asked the trusts and recruiting agencies to maintain contact with the nurses and offer them the necessary instructions and assistance.

Earlier, when the UK imposed a travel ban on Indians, airline companies including Air India had cancelled their services. 

This situation had forced the nurses from India who were already recruited to postpone their journey to the UK. Meanwhile, the NHS trusts announced that they would meet the expenses of the hotel quarantine of the recruited nurses. That would have enabled the nurses to travel to the UK. However, the British Health Ministry’s latest order has led to a total suspension of all these plans.

Earlier, some recruiting agencies had also considered chartering flights to take nurses from India to the UK. But, permission was not given as arranging hotel quarantine for big groups was not an easy task. 

After governments abroad sanctioned big amounts for foreign recruitments in view of the COVID-19 crisis and also simplified health and care visa procedures, hundreds of nurses from India, including Keralites, were arriving in the UK. 

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