Shortage of nurses sees West Suffolk Hospital recruit from Portugal

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A shortage of nurses has seen West Suffolk Hospital recruit 40 from Portugal.

The hospital in Bury St Edmunds carried out a recruit drive for registered nurses in Portugal.

The new recruits will add to West Suffolk’s 1,000-strong nursing staff,.

They will work alongside newly qualified student nurses and will be used to replace more expensive bank and agency nurses, and fill vacancies.

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.”