Theresa May’s post-Brexit immigration strategy has been described by NHS executives as the “most destructive policy proposal for NHS recruitment” amid fears it could mean around 25% of hospital services are forced to close.

The Government’s plan for a £30k salary threshold for UK migrants has been described by senior health officials as “appalling” and puts the efforts to entice the 50,000 nurses required by the health service in jeopardy.

May’s immigration policy poses serious implications for the recruitment of foreign staff, and raises concerns that it will impose additional pressure on NHS services, according to officials from the Department of Health.

Sajid Javid and Philip Hammond are believed to have warned May that the policy will severely restrict the NHS and the wider public sector from recruiting staff post-Brexit.

May’s immigration proposals are now undergoing lengthy consultation.

Domestic nurses in training are thought not to be sufficient to address NHS staffing issues. Officials state that the UK faces serious competition in the developed world for nurses, and that housing provision, as well as the welcome provided, must be addressed, citing countries such as Germany where foreign staff are given housing and other support on arrival. Moreover, they also warned that the English language testing that foreign nurses undergo is said to be “the most difficult in the world”.

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