Mentor Merlin’s 2 petitions that will change the future of UK healthcare recruitment and reduce the costs up to 50%


Mentor Merlin’s 2 petitions that will change the future of UK healthcare recruitment and reduce the costs up to 50%

Petition 1

Allow visa switching from Standard Visitor to Health and Care Visa

Currently Home office allow overseas nurses and doctors to come and appear for exams like PLAB and OSCE on a standard visitor visa. But these candidates must go back even after the successful completion of the registration process and re-apply from home country for the visa again. These additional costs prevent many from using this facility.

Petition 2

Remove the immigration Skill Charge from the Shortage Occupation sponsorships

The Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) is a levy on companies who sponsor migrant workers. NHS or any other employer has to pay £3000/ worker to recruit internationally for a 3 years visa. 25%-30% of the total recruitment cost are carried by ISC. The rationale behind charging such a heavy cost for filling the most required is questionable especially in the latest ongoing events.


The role of International nurses and International senior care workers in the delivery of high-quality health care in England is indispensable. The registered nurses living in England were trained in 141 different countries and nearly one in five (18.5%) nurses in NHS hospital and community services are overseas nationals.

The vacancy rate for nurses was 10% as of mid-2021 which is equivalent to 39,000 full-time posts. To address these shortfalls and to meet the Government’s ambitions, an additional 50,000 nurses should be employed by 2025 wherein overseas recruitment plays a major role.

Estimates of the costs of overseas nurse recruitment are available from various sources, but most of them cover only part of the actual or likely recruitment costs. However, as a broad estimate, the upfront costs of recruiting an individual nurse from overseas are likely to be around £10,000 to £12,000. In-house or private OSCE training (Not the induction) costs additional to the average cost.

Here is a sample cost table published by NHS Employers.

In short, to recruit 10 nurses from overseas NHS or any other employer has to spend more than £100,000 as recruitment expenses. 

25-30% of these expense are paying in terms of Immigration skill surcharge. 

Currently, there is only limited number of NHS’s and Nursing Homes are actively involved in the overseas recruitment due to  these higher costs and the duration of the total process. 

Employer Benefits

1) Positive outcome from both petition together could save at-least or upto 50% of overseas recruitment cost. 

How is that possible?

eg: scenario

Can save £1000 from overseas agent cost through petition 1 as the source of candidates will be in-country.

Can save £xxxx from pre-registration employee costs through petition 1 as it will open a new resource of OSCE cleared nurses.

Can save £xxxx from agency staff costing through petition 1 as it will reduce the duration of the total process.

Can save £3000 or £1000/Yr from ISC cost through petition 2.

Employee Benefits
  • As the cost of overseas recruitment reduces more employers will involve and more opportunities will open.
  • More opening will be for senior care workers as currently most employers are not using this facility due to the higher ISC.
  • Nurses will no longer need to wait for employer sponsorship to come to UK for OSCE.
  • Anyone with NMC approval for test of competence can come to UK and complete their process on the way.  
  • Duration of the process will be decreased as more number of employers will be interviewing.
  • More employer and location options will be opened.
  • Meet the employer directly before joining with them.
  • Avoid multiple times travel and increase the safety during this pandemic.
  • Save the time loss which can potentially affect your career due to the unpredicted travel bans and delays. 
Public Benefits

NHS saving money means it’s directly helps the public by utilising the money for different cause.

More service from the health settings as number of vacancy is getting reduced

Who can sign a petition?

Anyone who currently resides in the UK or holds British Citizenship can sign a petition.

How many signatures do we require to make this change happen?

With 10,000 signatures, we can get a response from the government, and with 100,000 signatures government will initiate the debate on the topic.

Here are the links to the petitions. Kindly support if you think this has a genuine cause.

How to sign a petition?

You can sign these petitions just using your mail id and your post code. 

Mark your support-  It does not even take 2 minutes

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