Medacs Healthcare

MAY 23/2013

Overseas nurses called on to plug shortage at Devon hospital

Demand for people in nursing jobs remains strong with a Devon hospital looking to health professionals overseas to help plug a shortage in staff. 

As the BBC reports, the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E) has taken on 273 new nurses in the past 12 months, including 72 from outside the UK. 

The hospital, in fact, accepted most of its foreign recruits from the Republic of Ireland, Spain and Portugal, as well as two from outside the European Union. 

These figures seem to chime with sentiments from the Royal College of Nursing, which was suggested the UK is in need of more nurses. 

A spokesperson for the Department of Health expressed the need for the NHS to draw on talent from across the UK and overseas where necessary. 

The BBC quoted them as saying: "Nurses from abroad have made a very valuable contribution to NHS patient care. However, they should only work in the NHS if they have proven their competence and language skills."

As well as demonstrating general demand for nurses, these latest figures also suggest there is the potential for established nurses to add agency shifts to their schedules. 

Not only will this help equip the NHS with the staff it needs, it offers professionals the opportunity to develop their careers further.     

Taking on agency work gives nurses the chance to see how other hospitals operate and can enable them to gain experience in a particular specialism if they so wish. 

Observing how other trusts work also gives nurses a wider understanding of the health service, adds to their experience and helps to promote the development of their skills and expertise. 

Earlier in the year, it was reported West Suffolk Hospital took on 40 new recruits from Portugal to help bulk up its nursing staff levels, reiterating a healthy appetite for nurses on the NHS. 

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