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James Paget Hospital taking precautions to ensure new immigration rules do not leave it with a staff shortage

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.

Measures are being taken to ensure a hospital trust is not left with a staff shortage ahead of new immigration rules which could force many nurses to leave the UK.

Liz Libiszewski, director of nursing at James Paget Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (JPH), told a meeting of the board’s directors the trust was “working hard” to ensure it was clear about its workforce needs.

The trust has offered jobs to 110 experienced Filipino nurses who are currently being trained by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

But those nurses could be forced to leave the UK when new immigration rules introduced by the government come into 
effect.

Under the plans, non-EU migrants must earn £35,000 or more to stay in the UK after six years.

Ms Libiszewski said: “We’re meeting with Workforce Partnership and Health Education East of England, as well as working with universities to make sure we make the maximum of the student programmes.

“We are running adverts to see if we can attract registered nurses.”

She said she was chairing a group of nursing directors in Norfolk to look at the area’s workforce demand.

Neil Offley, director of workforce, said: “The health service nationally needs to do a range of things in relation to current workforce and this law is clearly something that will not help the NHS match its staffing targets.”

The trust was visited by government regulator Monitor earlier this month to discuss their financial plan.

Christine Allen, chief executive of the JPH, said the trust had set a deficit plan for the first time, but could not comment further due to commercial sensitivity over a contract with commissioners.

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