• Home Office to review UK’s tier two visa system in response to criticisms over rejected visas for overseas doctors 
  • NHS Employers welcomed the government’s review, but said action must be taken urgently ahead of a major intake of doctors in August
  • Follows reports about the government’s tier two visa cap causing ’significant issues’ for trusts struggling to fill rota gaps

The Home Office has announced it will review the UK’s tier two visa system in response to national concerns from NHS trusts over rejected visas for overseas doctors.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show on BBC1 yesterday, home secretary Sajid Javid, said the Home Office will conduct a review of its policy which caps the number of tier two visas for skilled workers coming to the UK. 

NHS Employers chief executive, Danny Mortimer, said the organisation welcomed the government’s review, but said action must be taken urgently ahead of a major intake of doctors in August.

“Many of our employers could not again get certificates of sponsorship for doctors during May. It is now six months since we first started having problems, along with other sectors.

“The NHS is fast approaching the major August intake and changeover period for many doctors in training.

“A speedy, effective solution is urgently needed to clear the backlog, account for any increase in applications linked to the August changeover and provide a sustainable approach to the management of the system”, he said. 

The news follows reports from HSJ about the government’s tier two visa cap causing “significant issues” for trusts struggling to fill rota gaps due to shortages of doctors in the UK.

Last week, Tracey Dowling, chief executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust said the government’s visa caps were “not logical”, while Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association said the cap was “threatening patient care and safety”.