This study seeks to evaluate the barriers to employment in the UK which limit the mobility of
EU nations between EU member states. Three objectives were set which consist of the
following: identify the ability of doctors and nurses to move between EU countries, identify
the main stakeholders of the UK's healthcare industry and identify mobility barriers present in
UK hospitals. The literature suggests that the main type of professional migrants going to
UK hospitals consist of permanent settlers and temporary professional transients. There are
numerous push and pull factors that drive professional doctors and nurses to come to the UK.
Examples of these push and pull factors consist of the following: higher wage, better career
opportunities, more economic stability, good working conditions and limited educational
opportunities. International migration can be beneficial to societies and economies but there
are a number of problems which limit its effectiveness. Examples of these problems consist
of the following: brain drain, oversupply of professionals, cultural conflicts and difficulty to
integrate in a new society.
A critical theory philosophy was adopted in this study. A qualitative research model was
used and primary data was collected from management, native and migrant professionals.
One case study was selected, which consists of a hospital and interviews were conducted on
the population noted above. An intensive and opportunistic sampling strategy were adopted
and the qualitative data was analysed by referring to the framework developed by Miles and
Huberman (1994). Measures were adopted to safeguard the ethical principles of
confidentiality and integrity. The reliability and validity of the study were maintained by
adopting the following methods: investigator responsiveness, methodological coherence,
sampling adequacy, theoretical sampling, and active analytical stance and saturation. The
main themes stemming from the primary data comprise the following: conflict between the
native and professional migrants, role of the human resource department, difficulty for
professional migrants to translate their skills in the hospital and cultural barriers present in the
hospital. The generalisability of this study is weak due to limited sample diversity and it is
recommended that additional studies are conducted in hospitals in the UK. The barriers
identified in this study comprise the following: communication barrier, cultural barrier,
educational barrier, social barrier and limited information barrier. These barriers hinder the
ability of professionals to move between the UK and other EU countries and adversely affect
the quality of service provided to the two main stakeholders of the hospital, which consist of
the customers and the UK government.