In reply: Immigration and the NHS

Written by Dr Nick Maurice on .

Roger Mallet (letter, September 6) challenges the statement that I made as one of your columnists that "without the immigrants to this country every service within our country (NHS, Social Services, Transport) would collapse" and makes a totally different point about the political decision to cut training places. I stand by my original statement.

Statistics, produced by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, show that 11% of all staff for whom data was available and who work for the NHS and in community health services are not British.

The proportion of foreign nationals increases for professionally qualified clinical staff (14%) and even more so for doctors (26%), prompting the British Medical Association to observe that without the contribution of non-British staff, "many NHS services would struggle to provide effective care to their patients" - exactly my point.
(Source for figures.)

Note that this refers only to non British employees, it does not refer to those second and third generation descendants of immigrants who work for the NHS and Social Services and to whom I personally have reason to be grateful for care given to me and members of my family.

I would like to challenge Roger Mallet's statement that ..."the only way for the UK to regain control over its own health service workers is by training more nurses from this country". I wonder if he could give us examples of where the Government has 'lost control of the heath service workers' - whatever that means.

Dr Nick Maurice