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Overseas nurses on way to west Sussex

Nurses from the continent are heading to hospitals in Worthing and Chichester after an overseas recruitment drive.

So far 64 nurses have accepted offers to work for Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, most of them from Spain, with the first arriving “within weeks”.

Getting more permanent nursing staff will lead to “greater consistency of care” and mean the trust will be able to reduce agency staff spending.

The recruits have been “carefully assessed not just for their professional skills, but also for their ability to communicate”, the trust said.

In late 2013 the trust also ran a local recruitment drive for newly-qualified nurses, taking on 34.



Sandie Ellard, deputy director of nursing, said: “We are delighted that so many new colleagues will be joining us in the next few months, and we are really looking forward to welcoming them.

“Over the last five years we have invested heavily, and significantly increased the number of nurses and healthcare assistants on our wards. Our staffing numbers compare well with other hospitals, but we can still do more.”

She added: “Our last really big overseas recruitment drive was more than 10 years ago now, in the Philippines, and many of those people are still with us today.”

The new staff were recruited following a recent visit to Bilbao by senior nurses from the trust.

Western Sussex said there were significantly more nurses employed than when it was formed in 2009. It also highlighted that late last year the trust’s board opted to spend £500,000 to increase staffing levels at night.

Readers' comments (14)

  • Manuel of Faulty Towers fame was a great communicator !

    I wonder how much colloquial English these wonderful Spanish communicators understand.

    Patients tend not to speak "standard" English and they have "accents"

    Are these "nurses" fully conversant with the BNF or will that be taught in a 15 minute slot on the "induction" course?

    Yet more idiocy from the "nurse leaders "

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  • I have enjoyed the experience of working with a number of Spanish and Portuguese nurses. All were highly qualified and competent. The Spanish were a proud, dignified and expressive group. They are also ambitious, highly competitive and outspoken and are not in the least shy to call a spade a spade or point out if they think others are wrong, even when it is only that they have different ways of doing things. rules are rules to be adhered to in their book. I just wonder how they will fare in the UK and handle any poor practice they may witness and the whole issue of whistleblowing. maybe, in sufficient numbers, they will sort out the system. they do not put up with any nonsense from anyone no matter what their level in the organisation and do not suffer fools gladly!

    Good luck to them and to their collaboration with the nurses and staff of West Sussex.

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  • faulty towers?!for the Gods sake ,how old are you dear? and its English not Chinese. Come on!Nursing in UK was never glamorous. faulty towers...get sky let the poor Spanish Girls alone.

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  • Shameful that we have unemployed nurses of our own desperate for jobs. Can't understand the reasoning behind this at all.

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  • Are all these new nurses going to be screened to the same high standards e.g. vetting and barring (CRB checks) etc.

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  • Anonymous | 6-Mar-2014 11:43 am

    I went to Europe and got a fantastic job as I couldn't get one in the UK.

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  • Maybe the unemployed UK trained nurses should have applied for these posts, but as they seem not to have this is a reasonable alternate to leaving the posts vacant.

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  • diversity is always a good thing for the professions and especially services as blinkered as nursing in the UK and in the NHS.

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  • I am trying to get into nursing and have life experience, commitment and passion for the job, however having to go through interviews, tests despite having recently qualifying to a GCSE standard, am being rejected by numerous Universities. Maybe looking nearer to home and those that are trying their hardest to get into the job would be a better investment.

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  • do you really have unemployed nurses in uk and you are doing recruitment overseas?

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  • the is sweetners my dear nothing is done for nothing the is allways a reason to get more elsewhere when we already have here
    it may be cheaper, you may get more for the money, as long as thay adhear to trusts policy's here is not like there home land and they will after ajust and work alike
    we work hard and as a team if that carn't be done well it will be hard and there may be comments by other staff but that is freedom of speech?

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  • Anonymous | 9-Mar-2014 7:58 am

    they are certainly going to learn little about working in the UK from those who write comments such as these. Fortunately they are highly trained and competent and hard working professional graduate nurses who are not afraid to speak out and sort out poor practice and the lack of adequate resources (which includes human ones!). They are also not cheap labour and will command salaries on line with their qualifications and experience which may be higher than that of the average English ward worker.

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  • they will soon sort the wheat from the chaff!

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  • tinkerbell

    I met a Spanish nurse on my rounds last week in a private care home.

    He told me he has been here 3 months and is on a renewable contract. He would rather be home in spain but the Spanish healthcare system has collapsed due to the global recession. He said he does not want to bring his family here but flies home every other month. He is here because there is no work for him there. He was almost in tears. Poor sod!

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