By Ian Drury for the Daily Mail and Sophie Borland for the Daily Mail
Hospitals will be able to hire hundreds more foreign nurses following a Government U-turn on immigration rules.
Ministers said they will lift restrictions on the recruitment of nurses from outside of Europe amid concerns of a staffing crisis on NHS wards.
The announcement followed a damning report from the care watchdog which found that three quarters of hospitals were failing to meet key safety standards, partly due to a lack of senior nurses.
Home Secretary Theresa May said nurses would be temporarily added to the Government’s Shortage Occupation List – an official register of jobs which cannot be filled by UK residents.
It means that hospitals will now be able to hire an unlimited number of nurses from outside the EU, largely the Philippines, India and Pakistan.
Currently, they are restricted by a rules which state that only 20,700 visas can be handed out to all overseas skilled workers, including solicitors, teachers, doctors and scientists.
The policy also meant that starting next year, overseas nurses would have been deported if they had been here six years and were earning less than £35,000.
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