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Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the RCGP, stated on the organisation's website that this move is a "fantastic and much-needed victory for common sense".

"What we will be announcing is that doctors and nurses are being excluded from the cap on skilled worker visas". According to the Guardian, around 1,000 skilled workers including teachers, doctors and lawyers are fighting removal under counter-terrorism measures in paragraph 322 (5) of the immigration rules.

National media reported that health secretary Jeremy Hunt and home secretary Sajid Javid were pressuring the prime minister to ease the existing restrictions which had barred over 2,000 doctors from outside the EEA from entering the United Kingdom between November and April his year.

Earlier in the month, Practice Business reported on home secretary Sajid Javid's BBC interview, in which he said he hoped to review the immigration policy with regard to the tier 2 visa cap restricting worldwide doctors from working in the UK.

Today, at the NHS Confederation's conference in Manchester, Hunt said it was "extremely welcome" that the prime minister had amended the rules to allow more medical professionals to join the NHS.

He said he would take "think more carefully" about the cap on the number of skilled workers given visas.

Although the proposed change will only apply to doctors and nurses, it would free up visas for workers from other industries.

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Cordery said: "This is going to be a huge relief for trusts up and down the country who have been really struggling to fill their doctors and nurses vacancies".

The move would represent Mr Javid's first significant migration policy and a softening of Prime Minister Theresa May's hostility to calls to raise the cap.

After his comments on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, a spokesman for Mrs May said that visa routes were "always under review" and it was monitoring the situation.

Sunder Katwala, director at immigration think-tank British Future, said: "Perhaps this is a sign that Sajid Javid is willing to take a bolder and more flexible approach to immigration, and deliver the kind of system that Britain will need after we leave the European Union".

"We await a full announcement from the Home Secretary tomorrow and will be scrutinising the details very carefully".

In February, NHS England said it had vacancies for 35,000 nurse vacancies and almost 10,000 doctors.

The Home Office declined to comment.


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