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Quarter of trusts seeking nurses overseas, claims RCN


A quarter of trusts are seeking nurses from abroad in order to fill staffing gaps, a report by the Royal College of Nursing is expected to reveal.

A forthcoming report from the college is due to warn of an “impending crisis in the supply of nurses”, especially in the South East of England, the Times reported last Thursday.

Of 172 trusts that replied to a Freedom of Information request by the RCN, 37 had sent managers to a recruitment event abroad and a further 12 were planning to hire from overseas, the paper said.

Countries highlighted as overseas recruitment sources included Spain, Portugal and Ireland.

The Times quoted RCN chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter as describing the situation as “short-sighted”.

The college has previously claimed that 5,000 frontline NHS nursing posts have been cut over the past three years.

Mr Carter said: “It is near impossible to slash frontline staff while maintaining frontline care, the two are inextricably linked.

“It is for this reason that trusts are rethinking their workforce strategy and beginning to send managers on trips overseas to recruit nurses in their thousands.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Our SE England Trust is recruiting from the Iberian peninsula - then sending recruits on English language courses!
    How long before there is a mistake?

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  • Also a huge number of recruitment agencies are recruiting from the same places as discussed in this article. Maybe someone should do a FOIR to get Trusts to disclose these numbers too, I think we would all be very shocked. Particularly as some agencies do not place these nurses into perm placements but use them to undertake locum placements without adequate induction and support.

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