38 foreign nurses offered East Lancashire jobs

Blackburn Citizen: The Royal Blackburn Hospital The Royal Blackburn Hospital

EAST Lancashire’s hospitals have offered 38 jobs to nurses from Portugal and Italy, in a bid to plug the remaining gaps in their work-force.

A national shortage of nurses has prompted boss-es at the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Hospitals to look to Europe for new staff, having already recruited heavily in the UK.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has brought in 120 nurses and 140 healthcare assistants since April last year, when the trust was subjected to major inspections that revealed worrying staff shortages in many areas.

Dozens of posts still remain unfilled but, with a total of 82 qualified nurses ‘in the recruitment pipeline’, bosses think they can reach the expected staffing levels by May.

Many of these new recruits have filled positions that had been vacant, so extra funding was not needed in these cases.

In March last year, four months before the hospitals were placed in special measures, the Lancashire Telegraph revealed they were planning to slash the total number of employees by 500 by 2017/18, which prompted outrage from cam- paigners.

However, hospital chiefs yesterday conceded that these plans will have to be reassessed, following the criticisms around staff shortages that were made by NHS chief Sir Bruce Keogh.

The trust will still have to find ways to save about £85million, but said changes to the workforce will need to be ‘carefully planned’.

David Smithson, head of human resources, said: “Since July 2013 we have been recruiting to ensure that the safest staffing levels are attained in line with the recommendations of the Keogh Review, and the trust continues to recruit nursing staff through the ‘Care to Make a Difference’ campaign.

“The financial years ahead will be extremely challenging for all NHS org- anisations, and any subsequent workforce reduct-ons will be carefully planned and implemented to ensure that we continue to provide high-quality, safe and sustainable services to the people of East Lancashire.”

Mr Smithson said the foreign nurses will be assessed for ‘language prof-iciency’.

Comments (3)

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9:50am Fri 7 Mar 14

Bryan71 says...

Let's hope they speak English
Unlike some that have treated my Mother
Let's hope they speak English Unlike some that have treated my Mother Bryan71
  • Score: 8

10:47am Fri 7 Mar 14

Lancs - pensioner says...

This kind of immigration is the right way to go, people who are willing to work hard, people who have the skills we are short of, bring it on I say.
This kind of immigration is the right way to go, people who are willing to work hard, people who have the skills we are short of, bring it on I say. Lancs - pensioner
  • Score: 7

9:36pm Fri 7 Mar 14

mavrick says...

There is not £85 Million to take out of the service and never was. It is high time the coalition realised that, It speaks volumes when in times of high unemployment we can't attract British nurses. There must be a pool of nurses who were made redundant and generaly overworked until they could stand no more of the micro mismanagement.. perhaps an advert with an apology and a decent living wage for reasonable hours might help some reconsider, After all it cost a fortune to train them in the first place. The reputation of the ELHT is enough to deter any decent consultant to consider taking a post. We used to have the best and there is only political reasons stopping common sense prevailing. I hope they can sort it time.
There is not £85 Million to take out of the service and never was. It is high time the coalition realised that, It speaks volumes when in times of high unemployment we can't attract British nurses. There must be a pool of nurses who were made redundant and generaly overworked until they could stand no more of the micro mismanagement.. perhaps an advert with an apology and a decent living wage for reasonable hours might help some reconsider, After all it cost a fortune to train them in the first place. The reputation of the ELHT is enough to deter any decent consultant to consider taking a post. We used to have the best and there is only political reasons stopping common sense prevailing. I hope they can sort it time. mavrick
  • Score: 3

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