Nurse recruitment drive under way at Pilgrim Hospital

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More than 20 new nurses have joined the staff at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, as part of a £7 million recruitment plan to boost staffing levels.

The nurses from Greece, Portugal and Spain are among about 100 to join United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), which runs Pilgrim and two other hospitals in Lincolnshire, in September alone.

Managers at the trust were heavily criticised by the Care Quality Commission, which monitors hospital standards, in a report two months ago which highlighted low staffing levels, poor training and inconsistent patient care.

A ULHT spokesman said: “The international appointees are due to start work in the next few weeks following their induction programme and the trust will provide practical support to help them settle in the UK.

“Between April and August 2013, the trust recruited 165 new staff nurses and a further 101 newly-qualified nurses were offered posts to start in September.”

Coun Chris Brewis, county councillor for Sutton Elloe and vice chairman of Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee, said: “I think the recruitment drive is to be heartily welcomed and as long as language skills are satisfactory, the main priority is to see that wards and facilities are adequately staffed.”