Today (22 August 2022), the governments of Nepal and of the United Kingdom have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the managed and ethical recruitment of Nepalese healthcare workers to the UK as part of a trial. However, the MOU does not allow organisations to actively recruit from Nepal.
The MOU will enable the managed recruitment of Nepalese healthcare workers to a single NHS trust, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It has been signed on the basis that the active recruitment of health and care workers from Nepal will begin with an initial pilot phase lasting approximately 15 months.
Nepal is currently on the red list of countries according to the Code of Practice. The Code of Practice for the ethical international recruitment of health and social care personnel bans active recruitment from countries with the greatest workforce shortages unless there is a government-to-government agreement in place.
This is the first health worker recruitment agreement signed with a country on the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguards List 2020. Therefore, it is important to ensure the MOU helps manage health worker migration and is beneficial to the health worker and Nepal, as well as the NHS.
Take a look at the UK.gov website for further details on the MOU.
What does this mean for other employers and organisations on the Ethical Recruiters List?
For other health or social care employers (including NHS trusts, private providers, social care organisations, or local authorities) or organisations on the Ethical Recruiters List, the MOU does not allow active recruitment from Nepal.
Therefore, any active recruitment from Nepal operating outside of the terms of the MOU would be deemed a breach of the Code of Practice.
For further details on the Code of Practice for International Recruitment visit our website.
For details on red list countries, please visit our dedicated page.
You can also find the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguards List 2020 on the WHO website.