Trust continues to recruit nurses from home and abroad

December 8, 2015

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is continuing its campaign to recruit more nurses to work at Eastbourne DGH, Conquest Hospital and in the community.

The campaign is in response to a national shortage of 20,000 trained nurses, with currently approximately 2,000 vacancies across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.  This shortage has led to a number of trusts going abroad to recruit qualified nurses and the government has temporarily changed the restrictions on nurse recruitment from outside the European Union in recognition of this.

Following an intake of 25 newly qualified nurses in October, the Trust had a successful recruitment visit to the Philippines last month and made job offers to 40 qualified nurses, who are expected to start work in East Sussex next spring.  A recruitment trip to Spain is planned for later this month and there are also plans for recruitment in Croatia.  In addition, there are 56 qualified nurses who have been offered jobs and are waiting for confirmation of a start date.

The Trust is also continuing with generic recruitment of unqualified nurses, with 40 job offers made recently.

At present, the Trust maintains safe levels of nurses by using temporary staff, which is more expensive and reduces continuity of care.

Alice Webster, Director of Nursing for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Over the last few years we have significantly increased the number of nurses we employ but, like many other trusts, due to a national shortage of registered nurses in the UK we have reached a point where we cannot recruit enough nurses from this country and so are looking abroad.

“It is essential that we select the appropriate nurses to meet the challenges ahead for the Trust. We have been working with agencies who undertake the preliminary vetting stage, we then interview those who have passed the selection process to make sure they have the relevant experience and English language skills and demonstrate the Trust’s values in their behaviour.

“The nurses we are currently recruiting will help us to maintain patient safety and ensure that we continue to provide the highest possible quality of care for our patients.  I look forward to welcoming them as they begin their employment with us over the coming months.”

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