Ethical international recruitment: responding to the NHS People Plan

The recently published NHS People Plan for 2020/21 sets out the importance of recruitment and outlines the need to increase international recruitment:

“NHS England and NHS Improvement and HEE are working with government to increase our ethical international recruitment and build partnerships with new countries, making sure this brings benefit for the person and their country, as well as the NHS. This will include work to remove barriers to recruitment and increasing capacity for induction and support.”

The NHS Workforce Alliance has an existing, proven framework for the recruitment of international clinical staff. It is approved by NHS England and NHS Improvement and aligns to the recommendations set out in the long term plan, as well as the NHS People Plan

Over the last 12 months, we’ve supported over 41 Trusts and Collaborations including Capital Nurse to award international recruitment contracts that have ensured they have been able to successfully source and fill over 1215 clinical staff positions.

Our framework offers you an easy to use and compliant route to market that ensures all candidates are ethically recruited from countries that are permissible by UK Government. It also allows for both single and collaborative recruitment contract arrangements that support the NHS People Plan recommendations, giving your organisation or cluster flexibility to contract as either a single trust or a partnership such as an Integrated Care System (ICS).

We are arranging a series of webinars in October and November on international recruitment so watch this space!

To discuss how we can support you in engaging with the international recruitment market to meet your staffing needs, please contact your local NHS Workforce Alliance partner:


NHS Commercial Solutions

Crown Commercial Service

East of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub

NHS London Procurement Partnership

NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative


What is the NHS Workforce Alliance?


The NHS Workforce Alliance provides a portfolio of health workforce services delivered in partnership by Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and NHS Procurement in Partnership (NHS PiP) for the benefit of customers and suppliers.


The NHS Workforce Alliance brings together the expertise of NHS Procurement in Partnership and CCS as the biggest public procurement partnership in the UK. As leaders in the field we collectively raise the bar to address the staffing crisis and deliver a sustainable workforce model.