A physiotherapist who faced the prospect of having to quit the job he loves due to visa restrictions has finally – and literally - earned the right to stay in the UK.
Physiotherapist Anurag Bhatnagar can now stay in the UK
Anurag Bhatnagar, a band 6 physio who works at the Great Western Hospitals NHS Trust in Wiltshire, was planning to pack his bags and return to live in India as he did not earn enough to meet Home Office visa renewal criteria.
Last year the Home Office raised the minimum salary threshold to £35,000-a-year. This figure is due to increase each year and is beyond the salary that all but the highest paid NHS band 6s and above earn.
CSP members supported a petition set up by Central and North West London NHS Trust physiotherapist Anand Kumar, which attracted 10,000 signatures, calling for the threshold to be reduced to £28,000.
But with the ministers refusing to budge in spite of pressure from the CSP and other health unions, and time running out on Mr Bhatnagar’s visa, managers at his trust decided to re-examine his work and duties to see if he warranted a salary rise that would see him over the threshold.
Mr Bhatnagar told Frontline it had worked: ‘The trust really came through for me. We had a discussion and went through my job roles and we were able to find the perfect job role for me that used all my skills and got me over the £35k threshold.’
A spokesperson for the trust said that it worked very hard to recruit and retain the best skills for the increasing demand. ‘We’re very pleased that Anurag was able to stay in the UK to continue his career within the NHS.
'We hope his story can be a great example for anyone else across the globe considering a career with the NHS.’
This article was amended on 6 July. We originally said that Mr Bhatnagar had set up the petition, when the originator was physiotherapist Anand Kumar.
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