Private recruitment agencies ignoring ethical guidelines

Ethical guidelines to stop hospitals poaching nurses from the poorest countries are being ignored by private recruiting agencies, the Royal College of Nursing has warned.

The college highlighted figures released by NHS employers showing that only 140 of the 800 agencies supplying temporary staff to hospitals and nursing homes had agreed to comply with the government’s ethical code, reports The Guardian.

Agencies can supply staff to private sector hospitals and care homes even if they have not signed the code.Overseas nurses who have worked briefly in the private sector can then move into the NHS.

Janet Davies, the RCN’s executive director, said: “Our principle concern is that the code of practice … allows for backdoor recruitment from countries on the Department of Health’s banned list.”

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