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Hospital drafts in nurses from abroad

PUBLISHED: 13:30 21 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

THE end of Ipswich Hospital's staffing crisis is in sight, after hundreds of nurses have been drafted in from abroad.

Thanks to the influx of qualified staff from countries including the Phillipines, local hospital wards are no longer bereft of nurses, and spiralling numbers of vacancies are becoming a thing of the past.

THE end of Ipswich Hospital's staffing crisis is in sight, after hundreds of nurses have been drafted in from abroad.

Thanks to the influx of qualified staff from countries including the Phillipines, local hospital wards are no longer bereft of nurses, and spiralling numbers of vacancies are becoming a thing of the past.

Head of nursing Clare Barlow is looking forward to next year, when she is aiming to finish recruiting from overseas and celebrate having a full staff on the rota.

She said: "We have more nurses arriving each month and it takes time for them to integrate and complete their induction programme, so we should be all right by Spring of next year."

She said the overseas nurses have been a huge boost to the hospital, and make an invaluable contribution on the wards.

The news comes after a year of intensive recruitment by the hospital.

At the end of the year 2000, Ipswich joined other hospitals across Britain whose job adverts in the UK failed to attract enough recruits, and cast its net further afield.

A team of interviewers from Ipswich took their first trip to the Middle East, where there is a surplus of high-quality, qualified nurses.

Many were interviewed during a strict selection process, and the first 20 nurses arrived from the Middle East to work in intensive care by the end of last year.

By February 2001, a total of 30 nurses had arrived in Ipswich from the Middle East, Dubai and Jordan.

A huge intake of 80 overseas nurses arrived this summer, in preparation for the expected rise in workload that the hospital will face this winter, and dozens more nurses are set to start work in the coming months.

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