Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Oral Parliamentary Question (OPQ)
    Date of Answer: 22.05.2007
    Column References: 460 c1089-90
    Member Tabling Question: Lilley, Peter
    Topic: Independent Sector Treatment Centres
    Question: How does the Secretary of State square what she has just said about having an ethical policy on recruiting from Africa with the fact that the Government have issued work permits for 50,000 nurses and doctors from Africa since 2000? Is it not clear that they are coming to agencies in order to get round the ban on direct recruitment to the NHS?
    Answering Department: Dept of Health
    Member Answering Question: Hewitt, Patricia
    Answer: As I have just said, we have stopped the process of direct recruitment-[Hon. Members: “Ah!”] No, we have stopped the process of direct recruitment into the NHS of nurses from developing countries in Africa and elsewhere. There is, however, a real problem with some agencies that recruit people from those countries. I am not sure what level of regulation the right hon. Gentleman is suggesting, but that practice is difficult to control. We try to ensure, however, that they sign up to exactly the same principles as we have agreed for the NHS, and that people who come in through that route are not subsequently re-employed in the NHS.