International healthcare workers should have their visas automatically renewed for free to ensure they can help tackle the UK’s second wave of coronavirus, the British Medical Association (BMA) has said.
Between the end of March and October 1, health and care staff with expiring visas had them automatically renewed for 12 months free-of-charge, allowing them to stay and work in the country.
Now, the BMA, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Unison have written to Home Secretary Priti Patel asking for the system to be extended “as a matter of urgency”.
The joint letter said: “It is clear we are now entering a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With daily cases reaching record highs we need to do as much as possible to retain the skills and experience of our talented overseas colleagues as we have an incredibly tough few months