max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C

ESTD 1874 Search

West Suffolk: Hospital recruits 40 Portuguese nurses

09:00 24 January 2013

Nichole Day (executive chief nurse)

Nichole Day (executive chief nurse)


A SHORTAGE of registered UK nurses has forced a Suffolk hospital to go on a recruitment drive in Portugal, where there is an “excess” of qualified nurses.


West Suffolk Hospital’s 1,000-strong nursing team – of which just 60% are registered nurses – is set to be boosted by 40 new Portuguese recruits, who will arrive at the hospital in two groups over the next two months.

It is hoped they will help fill existing vacancies and reduce spending on bank and agency staff.

A spokesman said the first of the Portuguese nurses would begin an induction programme in February with the remaining group set to boost the hospital’s busy wards from March.

They are expected to work across all areas of the hospital and will be used to replace bank and agency nurses, and help staff additional capacity that has been opened to manage winter pressures.

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

According to the spokesman, when the hospital was having difficulty finding new recruits, they took advice from a national agency and were told that Portugal had more qualified nurses than it needed. Nursing qualifications in Portugal are also very similar to those in the UK, which makes it easier to register them with the National Medical Council.

Executive chief nurse at the hospital, Nichole Day, 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. Ms Day continued: “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.”



  • i'll tell you the real problem this country as not put enough money into training our own nurse's and then all they get when they are trained is how awful the NHS is . we need less bloody managers and more nurse's

    Report this comment


    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • There is something very wrong if a hospital needs to recruit Nurses from another country. So EADT can you story dig a bit deeper and find out what the real problem is?

    Report this comment

    Red Robbo

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • If 7,000 nurses have been made redundant since the last election (Guardian 231112) why do we need 40 from Portugal?

    Report this comment


    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • Agree with Red Robbo, something is seriously wrong if one hospital is recruiting in such large numbers. What are working conditions like at West Suffolk Hospital, that they suddenly have so many vacancies? Obviously it is good that they reduce dependency on bank and agency nurses, who cost more and have less commitment to patients. Obviously we shall all welcome the new nurses, but is it really true that Portugal has a lot of unemployed nurses? Are patients there going to suffer, if so many of their nurses flee the country, not just to WSH but no doubt to many other UK hospitals?

    Report this comment


    Thursday, January 24, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Nick Alston, Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, pictured with Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh. Picture: Su Anderson.

Police chiefs in Essex gave a cautious welcome yesterday to the Chancellor’s announcement there would be no further cuts to policing.

Police at the scene of the robbery

Two men have been arrested in connection with a robbery at a One Stop convenience store in Claydon, Suffolk, on Sunday.

Police enforced a cordon at around 3pm

Two suspected unexploded mortars and ammunition, found in a building site in Colchester, saw a 100m cordon enforced in Mersea Road afternoon.

Police joined forces with partner agencies for the operation

People were arrested and vehicles seized in a series of police checks carried around in Ipswich and Thetford this week.

A barge on the River Gipping at Bramford around 1895. The road bridge and St Mary’s Church are on the left.

Beautiful countryside, with pleasant walks, fishing and picnic areas are how most now see the area around the River Gipping.

Pictured is Tim Yeo

Former Tory MP Tim Yeo has lost his libel action over a “cash-for-advocacy” claim which he said trashed his reputation.

Essex public sector cuts

Public sector bodies in north Essex have had more than half a billion pounds cut from their budgets over the past five years.

Will Quince speaking in the House of Commons.

Colchester MP Will Quince said he was completely surprised to be named in the Autumn Statement for his pressure to give money raised from the so-called “tampon tax” to women’s charities.

Woolverstone Wish appeal hits the half million mark.  Fundraisers and supporters meet on the site

Work is at last under way on a long-awaited and desperately needed new £3.7million state-of-the-art cancer centre – after a stunning past 12 months of fundraising.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24