Internationally trained staff have been part of the NHS since 1948 and continue to perform a crucial role to this date. In fact, 16% of nurses and 36% of doctors in England have been trained outside of the United Kingdom. On the other hand, the social care sector has 35% of nurses and 16% of all social care workers from outside the United Kingdom. All these people who come abroad to train and work, gain greater insight to healthcare, and help the healthcare sector to progress.
So, what is the code of practice?
The Code of Practice helps put in place the quality-of-care that clients will get if they receive care services. As well as this, they can be used as a source for assessing the quality of care given. All care professions have a code of practice which promotes high standards of ethical practice.
Who does the code apply to?
The code of practice applies to all Healthcare or social care organisations employing staff or contracting bodies, and agencies recruiting internationally. They are all strongly advised to adhere to the Code of Practice. This includes the NHS, private health care providers, social care providers, local authorities and recruitment agencies contracted to fill vacancies.
The guiding principles of the code
There are five leading principles under the Code of Practice.
- International migration of health and social care personnel can make a contribution to the development and strengthening of health and social care systems to both countries of origin and destination countries if recruitment is managed properly.
- Opportunities exist for individuals, organisations and health and care systems to train and educate and enhance their clinical practice.
- There must be no active international recruitment from countries on the list, unless there is an explicit government-to-government agreement with the UK to support managed recruitment activities that are undertaken strictly in compliance with the terms of that agreement.
- Recruitment of international health and social care personnel is closely monitored and reported on to the Cross Whitehall International Recruitment Steering Group.
- International health and social care personnel will have the same legal rights and responsibilities as domestically trained staff in all terms of employment and conditions of work. They will also have the same access to further education and training and continuous professional development
Best practice benchmarks
It is expected that all these healthcare and social care organisations that comply with the Code apply these best practice benchmarks and enter into contracts solely with recruitment agencies that have also agreed to abide by these.
- There is no active recruitment of health and social care personnel from countries on the list.
- All international recruitment by health and social care employers and contracting bodies will follow good recruitment practice and demonstrate a sound ethical approach.
- International health and social care personnel will not be charged fees for recruitment services in relation to gaining employment in the UK.
- All international health and social care personnel will have the appropriate level of English language to enable them to undertake their role effectively and to meet registration requirements of the appropriate regulatory body.
- All appointed international health and social care personnel must be registered with the appropriate UK regulatory bod
- All international health and social care personnel required to undertake supervised practice, by a regulatory body, should be fully supported in this process
- All international health and social care personnel will undergo the normal health assessment prior to commencing employment.
- All international health and social care personnel will have appropriate pre-employment checks including those for any criminal convictions or cautions as required by UK legislation.
- All international health and social care personnel offered a post will have a valid visa before entry to the UK.
- Appropriate information about the role applied for will be available to all international health and social care personnel.
- All newly appointed international health and social care personnel will be offered appropriate support and induction. As part of this employers and contracting bodies should undertake pre-employment/placement preparation activity to ensure a respectful working environment for all.
- Health and social care employers should respond appropriately to applications from international health and social care personnel who are making an individual application.
- Health and social care employers and contracting bodies should record international recruitment activities. This will support the UK to monitor and measure the impact of international recruitment flows on the health and social care sector in both the country of origin and the UK.
Agreements made for the recruitment of healthcare professionals
The World Health Assembly insists the use of government-to-government agreements to manage the migration of healthcare workers. The UK Government endorses this resolution and has government-to-government arrangements with a number of countries. It is anticipated that all NHS international recruitment should be carried out through these agreements as they promote recruitment in an ethical and sustainable manner. These intergovernmental agreements have been established to offer advantages to all participating countries and support ethical standards in the recruitment of international healthcare professionals. These arrangements also support the professional development of all healthcare professionals through the exchange of knowledge and skills.