By Lenin Nightingale
Hundreds of foreign nurses are being flown in to plug a crisis in NHS staffing.
At least 40 hospital trusts have actively recruited from abroad, with 1,360 nurses being signed up from countries from Spain and Portugal to Australia and the Philippines.
With another 41 planning to launch recruitment drives, and NHS recruitment fairs scheduled for Madrid and Lisbon in January, the number could easily double.
Budget cuts, recruitment freezes, redundancies and a reduction training posts are blamed creating a ‘hidden workforce crisis’, with almost 20,000 nursing, health visiting and midwifery posts vacant.
But while the new arrivals will help understaffed wards deal with the extra pressures of winter, there are concerns about the communication skills of some of the staff, as well as their experience and training.
While non-EU applicants must pass a rigorous English test, EU rules on freedom of labour have stopped the Nursing and Midwifery Council watchdog from carrying out language tests on Europeans before allowing them on its register.
Hospitals can set their own tests but a Mail investigation found that few do, with many assuming the new staff members will have already been asked to prove their language ability.
In recent years, patients have been told how they have been forced to use sign language to communicate with staff and some hospitals have resorted to sticking pictures of medical equipment on cupboard doors, rather than written lists, so that nurses know where to find everything.
The total number of nurses who registered to work in Britain after receiving their training abroad rose from 2,306 in 2009 to 4,521 last year, official figures show.
Under EU rules on freedom of labour, three-quarters of the foreign staff were able to register to work in this country without any checks on their language or competence.
Regulators are not allowed to set tests, and research has found most hospitals do not carry out checks, despite Department of Health (DoH) advice that they should
Hospitals targeted 29 different countries, with the highest number of nurses recruited from Portugal, followed by Spain, Ireland and the Philippines, the FOI disclosures show.
The recruitment trawls also targeted Greece, Poland, Canada and Switzerland.
Hospitals targeted 29 different countries, with the highest number of nurses recruited from Portugal, followed by There are also worries about differences in training, including knowledge of the admin that forms a large part of a nurses’ duties in Britain.
In the wake of the Mid-Staffordshire scandal, where staff shortages contributed to the deaths of up to 1,200 patients, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt promised the NHS will recruit an extra 3,700 nurses by 2014. Remember also- excess use of overseas nurses in the private sector and care homes as overseas nurses are cheaper and Complain less (Duell in Dimon 2013)
So why are approx. 2 thirds of student nurses graduating in this country, unable to obtain a job as a nurse?
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2512985/Foreign-nurses-propping-NHS-At-40-trusts-actively-recruiting-abroad-plug-staffing-crisis.html#ixzz2mSmDGEoR
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
USA blogs ;
There is no shortage of nurses in 2013. Nursing careers have changed over the years requiring less registered nurses. Health Care providers hire less Registered Nurses, but hire more anxillary staffing to complete what was once considered nursing duties. The nurse will usually be the one in charge of the assistants or anxillary staffing. Some states have medications techs, now. Hospitals hire RN’s part-time or registry so they can save on paying benefits. Working conditions for registered nurses are difficult because there are no unions in most states and registered nurse job descriptions are not clearly defined. Registered nurses are floated to different areas with little orientation in the hospitals because it saves money and hospitals can do whatever they please. If the nurse protest, the nurse is out of a job and may be unemployable because corporations purchase hospitals, kinda like a Mcdonalds chain, so if your fired in one, good luck finding another job. Add to this, the educational requirement for job entry is a Bachelor of Nursing in some states and sometimes assitional certifications. Lately, I have noticed master degree requirements for some nursing jobs. I have been a nurse 25 years. When I started it was an o.k, job, but now it’s really hellish! Healthcare is a business and the nurse is another employee on an assemply line.
I am completely depressed about this entire nursing situation. I spent my last dime going to school, student loans are kicking in ,220 applications later, 9 months later after graduation and still nothing. My husband lost his job this week, we have a 6 month old baby, what next? Go to school some more? With what money? Go volunteer? Well that doesn’t pay the bills. Soon, I will have to start working 2 jobs just to make ends meet, probably in some fast food restaurant or something. Nursing field is a complete let down and waste of time, unless you know someone to get into the field, its worthless. You are going against thousands of applicants, more and more adding to it each graduating semester.