Leading complex care provider Cornerstone welcome nurses from India via government sponsorship scheme
Waterlooville based, complex care provider, Cornerstone Healthcare, welcomed this month nine new starters from overseas. The nine nurses have joined the company from India via the Home Office’s new Certificate of Sponsorship scheme.
To facilitate the sponsorship programme, a new Health and Social Care Visa was launched in 2022, which allows eligible health and social care professionals from outside the European Union to reside and work in the UK. This new visa streamlines the recruitment process by making it easier to sponsor staff from other countries, while also providing an exemption from the healthcare surcharge.
The nurses have been in contact with future colleagues at Cornerstone for approximately 6 months, building connections and learning about the company, while awaiting the finalisation of the paperwork.
In addition, to staff from India the care provider is also in the process of interviewing and recruiting nurses from Africa. They have chosen to utilise the Certificates of Sponsorship to overseas workers to help combat the staffing crisis currently faced by the social care sector in the UK. Social care consultants, Carterwood, recently reported that the cost of agency has doubled since 2021, placing further strain on a sector heavily impacted by the cost-of-living crisis.
Cornerstone’s Group CEO, Johann van Zyl, said “We are delighted to welcome our new staff to the Cornerstone family. These individuals are highly skilled healthcare professionals who will only strengthen our claim as the UK’s best complex care provider. We appreciate the huge life decision that they have made to make the UK their home and are supporting their resettlement wherever we can whether that be sourcing and helping to fund accommodation initially, to taking them to the nearest supermarket.”
“At Cornerstone we welcome the best individuals, from around the world to join us and because of that we have a wonderfully diverse staffing group however, since Brexit we have seen our EU staff drop by 18%.”
Cornerstone, the UK’s sixth fastest-growing specialist care company according to Alantra’s 2021 Fast 50 report, pride themselves on being “An employer of choice” in the healthcare sector as care homes battle to recruit the best staff from a shrinking workforce. During December and January, the company onboarded an additional 66 new starters outside of the sponsorship scheme with a further 37 to follow in February. These new starters are a mix of healthcare assistants, nurses, domestics and central support staff to fill vacant positions and to cope with the company’s expansion programme.
According to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), in its annual assessment of health and social care in England, 36% of care home providers said that workforce challenges have had a negative impact on their businesses.
Cornerstone Healthcare operates three specialist nursing homes: South Africa Lodge in Waterlooville, Kitnocks House in Curdridge and Marula Lodge in Mytchett and the group are currently building two, new services in Wincanton and Bristol, due to open in early 2024. The homes care for people with challenging behaviours associated with complex neurological and mental health needs.