Overseas recruitment drive to fill thousands of care vacancies ahead of winter

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Bosses have warned that problems with securing social care services for patients ready to leave hospital are causing backlogs.

Delayed discharges mean fewer beds are available, leading to long waits for those needing to be admitted from emergency departments.

There are around 165,000 social care vacancies and Mr Barclay is said to have instructed a task force to recruit thousands of staff before winter.

Ministers are understood to be considering launching an online recruitment hub to match those looking for jobs with potential employers.

A Government source said: “Ensuring the NHS and care have enough staff to cope with a challenging winter is an absolute priority and finding ways of boosting international recruitment, including through the health and care visa, is a key part of that.

“We’re open to any ideas to help, including an online support hub.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our new international recruitment task force is considering innovative ways to boost staffing numbers within health and adult social care.

“As part of this, we will work with the sector and recruitment experts to examine how to recruit staff from overseas more effectively.”

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