England’s foundation hospitals escape ‘poaching’ rules

Foundation
hospitals in England are to be exempt from NHS rules banning the poaching of
nurses and other medical staff from developing countries, according to the
Guardian.

A
draft code of practice seen by the newspaper says foundation trusts will be
treated like private hospitals, and merely "invited" to adopt ethical
recruitment policies, without any sanction if they choose to ignore them.

For
other NHS organisations – and UK employment agencies that supply them with
staff – the rules will be compulsory.

The
original code banned all NHS hospitals from advertising vacancies in developing
countries unless they were specifically authorised to do so under
intergovernmental agreements. No exception was made for foundation hospitals.

But
that approach was abandoned in the draft document circulated last week to NHS
HR managers, unions and the private sector, which proposed a ban on the
"active marketing of posts" in developing countries that have not
signed an intergovernmental agreement.

In
May, health secretary John Reid promised to strengthen the ethical recruitment
code after pressure from the nursing unions.

However,
he rejected the Royal College of Nursing’s demand that the code should be made
obligatory in the private sector.

By Daniel Thomas

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