Overseas nurses recruited to alleviate NHS shortages are suffering low pay, exploitation and double standards, research claims.
A survey by the Royal College of Nursing of more than 1,100 overseas nurses shows that one in three had to pay agency fees of up to £2,000 to secure a place in the UK. Over a third of Filipino nurses had to pay commission after securing a job, 22 per cent were forced to pay air fares, 13 per cent for training and 11 per cent an introductory fee.
The study also reveals a culture of low support, racism and poor pay in the health sector with international nurses getting salaries of around £600 less than British staff, despite having between five and 20 years’ experience.
Tracy Myhill, president of AHHRM, said overseas recruitment was critical to the NHS and HR must improve the way it dealt with foreign staff. “We have to improve the way we recruit nurses from overseas and how we are supporting them when they get here,” she said.
Just under half of those questioned felt that their UK colleagues received better treatment, while a third said their qualifications were not respected.
Myhill called for mentoring and buddy schemes to help integrate foreign staff but admitted HR practices had to improve.