Indian nurses boost ranks at Essex trust

An Essex NHS trust has recruited more than 100 nurses from India in an
effort to stem staff shortages.

A recruitment team from the Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust visited
Delhi, recruiting 105 nurses to take up posts in Chelmsford.

The Trust said new NHS targets mean it needs to employ 130 extra nurses this
year, but the rapid expansion of the health service means it will require those
nurses faster than British universities can produce them.

India has a surplus of doctors and nurses, and the trust received permission
from the Indian Government to recruit from their country.

The new nurses have all sat an English Language skills test, and have also
been health-screened.

They will be given a two-year work permit, with each nurse assigned a mentor
to ensure they have between three to six months of supervised practice before
they gain their licence to practice in the UK.

Recruitment co-ordinator Sue Haylett said: "The Indian nurses were so
enthusiastic, so motivated and so patient-focused."

She said the trust was looking at other ways to cut the cost of employing
agency staff, including encouraging healthcare assistants already at its
hospitals to undertake nursing training by giving them a full salary instead of
a student bursary.

– New research from the Royal College of Nursing claims the NHS would stop
working if it was not for foreign nurses.

The study found that there are now more than 42,000 foreign nurses working
in the UK – more than double the number three years ago.

In all, foreign nurses make up a quarter of all those working in London, and
the proportion is rising.

By Quentin Reade

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