London health service dependent on overseas staff

London
relies more on health staff trained overseas than any other part of the UK,
says a report by health charity the King’s Fund.

In
the three London NHS trusts studied by the health charity, between 12 per cent
and 25 per cent of nurses had not been trained in the UK.

The
report’s author, professor James Buchan, said London’s NHS should recruit more
from local communities.

"International
recruitment was initially regarded as a quick fix, but it’s now clear this is
an integral part of many hospitals’ recruitment strategies," he said.

"While
overseas health workers are playing a key role in delivering patient care in
the capital, the NHS cannot afford to rely too heavily on them."

Buchan
said more local recruitment would provide "a more sustainable solution to
London’s health workforce challenges".

The
Royal College of Nursing said the figures were no surprise, and that here was
an acute shortage of staff in the UK.

By
Mike Berry

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