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The Observatory – Global Migration in the Health and Care Workforce


The Observatory has the twin purpose of collating publications on the topic of health and care workforce migration, focusing on England since January 2016, and creating a database of ongoing research projects in this field.

Research team

HSCWRU: Stephen Martineau, Nicole Steils, Martin Stevens, Jill Manthorpe.


National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Policy Research Programme.


We are conducting systematic searches of publications databases and issuing a call for information about ongoing research projects (that may not have published yet). Publications and research projects are being summarised and entered into the Observatory database.

Criteria for inclusion


  • Publications and research projects relevant to health and/or social care workforce migration into or out of the UK, focusing on England.

Subject population:

  • All health workforce.
  • All adult social care workforce (including social workers).
  • Exclude children and family social care/work.

Publication type:

  • Peer review articles, reports, and theses, grey literature and expert commentary.
  • English language.
  • Exclude journalism, except where this qualifies as expert commentary.

Date range:

  • Publications: from 1 January 2016 onwards.
  • Projects: projects already running on 1 January 2016, or that have started since that date, or are scheduled to start before end of 2023.


We will publicise the Observatory’s existence and as the research landscape emerges, we will alert policy makers, labour market stakeholders, user and carer and patient groups, and research communities to new materials and to where gaps in the evidence may lie.

We will produce reports and other publications deriving from the analysis of the literature we identify.

Project status: Completed