Health care jobs removed from UK national shortage list

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Starting 18 March 2008, thirty-eight healthcare-related jobs will be removed from the United Kingdom's National Shortage Occupation List (NSOL). In some cases, the NSOL is used to determine whether an occupation is eligible for the granting of a work permit for non-European Economic Area (EEA) foreign nationals.

The changes to the list follow research conducted by the National Health Service workforce review team on behalf of the Department of Health.

The team reviewed all healthcare occupations currently on the list after updated labor market research which included input from relevant stakeholders across the UK.

All work permit applications received for these healthcare positions will be subject to a full resident labor market needs test effective 18 March. The test requires employers to submit evidence that the occupation has been advertised, with full details of people who were interviewed and why a UK resident or EEA national could not be found to fill the position.

If employers satisfy the requirements of the resident labor market test, a work permit can then be granted to a non-EEA foreign national.

The following healthcare professions are affected:


Consultants in dental specialties (with the exception of consultants and specialists in paediatric dentistry, which remain on the NSOL)

Consultant posts in the following specialist fields:

  • accident and emergency
  • additional dental specialities
  • cardiothoracic surgery
  • clinical radiology
  • dermatology
  • endocrinology and diabetes mellitus
  • endodontics/gastroenterology
  • general internal medicine
  • general surgery
  • histopathology
  • infectious diseases
  • medical oncology
  • neurosurgery
  • obstetrics and gynaecology
  • ophthalmology
  • otolaryngology
  • paediatric cardiology
  • palliative medicine
  • psychotherapy
  • public health medicine
  • respiratory medicine
  • rheumatology
  • trauma and orthopaedic surgery
  • urology

General Medical Occupations:

  • dietician
  • biomedical scientist or medical laboratory scientific officer
  • occupational therapists
  • pre-registration cytogeneticists
  • speech and language therapists (employed at Agenda for Change band 5 or 6, or independent sector equivalents)


Not all nurses will be removed from the NSOL. Operating Theater Nurses and Critical Care Nurses (nurses working in wards with Level 2 or 3 classification) are still included on the list as well as registered nurses employed at bands 7 and 8 or their independent sector equivalents.

The following nurse occupations will be removed from the list:

  • midwives
  • audiology
  • sleep or respiratory physiology
  • neurophysiology
  • cardiac physiology
  • clinical radiology
  • pathology