New Health and Care Visa includes midwives

Politics Maternity Services

Yesterday (13 July), the Home Office published details of the new points-based immigration system, which includes midwifery as one of the professions to qualify for the Health and Care Visa.

The visa will allow fast-track entry, reduced application fees and dedicated support to assist those applying and their families. Under the skilled worker route, individuals from all nationalities, who work in eligible health occupation with a job offer from the NHS and who have good working English will be eligible to work in the NHS. Applicants will be exempt from the immigration surcharge.

The Home Office guidance also makes it clear that NHS employers should be offering salaries commensurate with Agenda for Change pay rates for overseas applicants. The one exception to this is that midwives can be paid below band 5 for the period while they are awaiting confirmation of their NMC registration.

The inclusion of midwives follows extensive lobbying from the RCM after earlier Government drafts excluded midwives from proposals for extending work visas to NHS staff from overseas. While we welcome the decision to include midwifery as an eligible occupation, we still criticize the Government’s decision to exclude care workers from the visa list.