Hospital recruits 40 nurses from Portugal

Nurses from the West Suffolk hospital meeting nurses from overseas.

Nurses from the West Suffolk hospital meeting nurses from overseas.

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West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, has recruited 40 registered nurses from Portugal.

The new recruits will be used to replace bank and agency staff, fill existing vacancies and help staff additional capacity in the hospital.

They will work alongside West Suffolk’s newly qualified student nurses, all of whom have also been offered jobs.

Nichole Day, executive chief nurse at the hospital, said: “Like many other hospitals, we have found it difficult to recruit staff due to a shortage of registered nurses coming through the system.

“We looked to Portugal instead and are delighted that our recruitment drive was such a success. We have recruited 40 very high calibre nurses with excellent communication skills and look forward to welcoming them onto our wards.

“In Portugal, nurses complete a four year degree course, with the final nine months spent working in an acute hospital. They have excellent care skills and particular expertise in the care of older people, which is ideal for the population we serve. They will also bring new ideas and new experiences to our wards.

“The nurses will be used to staff additional capacity which has been opened to cope with winter pressures. They will also help us fill existing vacancies while further reducing our spending on bank and agency staff.”

The new nurses will arrive in Suffolk in two cohorts, with the first starting their induction programme in this month and the second in March.

They will add to West Suffolk’s 1,000-strong nursing staff, 60 per cent of which are registered nurses.