NHS Turns to Spain and Portugual to Make up for Nurse Shortage

A shortage in British Trained Nurses is forcing the NHS to look for staff overseas because they are struggling with current amount.

At least 40 hospital trusts in England confirmed that they recruited staff from overseas in the last 12 months and a further 41 trusts said that they would be looking to recruit overseas in the coming 12 month.

Reports confirmed that the majority of nurses came from Portugal and Spain with almost 1,000 out of the 1,360 coming from these to countries.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “This is symptomatic of the short-term, boom-and-bust workforce planning which is endemic in the NHS.

“It is frankly perplexing that on the one hand nursing posts are being cut and training places being reduced, while on the other, desperate managers are raiding overseas workforces.”

Maria Bentley, who oversees recruitment, said: “We are definitely in the midst of a nursing shortage. It has become more acute over the last year but it’s been going in a general direction over the last couple of years. In the last six months we are just not getting applicants.”


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