Shortage occupations list 2018: call for evidence - our response for health and social care

Response to the UK Migration Advisory Committee call for evidence on the shortage occupation list summarises skills shortages within health and social care sector in Scotland, and details the contribution of international workers.

The Current Shortage Occupations Lists – Clinical and Other Health and Social Service Professionals

29. The existing UK Shortage Occupations List specifies limited medical practitioner posts, in known areas of acute shortage, specifically radiology, emergency medicine and psychiatry. A number of allied health professionals, chiefly medical radiographers and healthcare science nuclear medicine practitioners are also included. All categories of nurse and all paramedics, are also included. Other than nurses working in the sector, the only social services workers included are social workers working in children's and family services.

UK Shortage Occupations List

SOC Code Job Titles (& Further Criteria)
2211 Medical Practitioners Consultants in the following specialties: Clinical radiology Emergency medicine Old age psychiatry CT3 trainee and ST4ST7 trainee in emergency medicine Core trainee in psychiatry Non-consultant, non-training, medical staff posts in the following specialties: Emergency medicine (including specialist doctors working in accident and emergency) Old age psychiatry Paediatrics
2217 Medical Radiographers HCPC registered diagnostic radiographer Nuclear medicine practitioner Radiotherapy physics practitioner Radiotherapy physics scientist Sonographer
2219 Health Professionals not elsewhere classified Neurophysiology healthcare scientist Neurophysiology practitioner Nuclear medicine scientist Orthotist Prosthetist
2231 Nurses All jobs in this occupation code
3213 Paramedics All jobs in this occupation code
2442 Social Workers Only the following jobs in this occupation code social worker working in children's and family services

30. The Scotland Only Shortage Occupations list additionally includes clinical oncology at consultant grade, alongside anaesthetics, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology. Additional training and staff grade posts are also included. In terms of allied health professionals and healthcare scientists, the Scotland only list includes AHPs working in diagnostics radiology, as well as healthcare scientists such as radiotherapy physics practitioners and radiotherapy scientists.

Scotland Only Shortage Occupations List

SOC Code Job Titles (& Further Criteria)
2211 Medical Practitioners Jobs on the UK SOL. Consultant in clinical oncology, Non-consultant, non-training medical staff post in clinical radiology CT3 trainee and ST4 to ST7 trainee in clinical radiology All grades except CPT1 in psychiatry All grades in anaesthetics, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology
2217 Medical Radiographers Jobs on the UK SOL. Medical physicist Staff working in diagnostics radiology (including magnetic resonance imaging).

31. It has been argued that as the UK and Scotland only lists do not differ substantially, this demonstrates that there is limited regional variation in strategic workforce needs and shortages. In terms of health and social care however, the existing Scotland Only list not only includes additional consultant grade specialists, but it also includes additional staff and training grade posts, across some of our largest clinical job families, including anaesthetics and paediatrics. A number of these specialties continue to experience high vacancies and job shortages, underpinned by complex factors, as evidence set out in the forthcoming sections will demonstrate.

32. The Scottish Government's view, notwithstanding that doctors are currently exempt from the Tier 2 visa cap is that where there is continuing evidence of shortage within a specialty, then those occupation codes should be maintained on the Shortage Occupations Lists. Equally, given the highly competitive global market for consultants, alongside their lengthy education and training pathways, where there is on-going evidence of shortage at consultant grade, the SOL should routinely include training and staff grade posts within the same specialty. This would provide health boards with the necessary flexibility to consider reconfiguration of an existing service and think creatively about how they might respond to skills gaps. It would also allow boards to be more proactively responsive in a climate of on-going service transformation and allow boards to make best use of multidisciplinary teams.

33. Social Workers are on the UK Shortage Occupation List, with a job restriction to those working in children's and family services. The Scottish Government consider that Social Workers should be included in the Shortage Occupation List, or if necessary within the Scotland Only list, without qualification as to the specific nature of their role. The evidence we have indicates that it is social workers working with adults where shortages are greatest in Scotland.



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