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These nurses are undoubtedly filling a need, but concerns have been raised about why that need arose in the first place.

There are also worries over the ability of foreign-trained medical staff to do the job in hand, because of shortcomings in their language skills or training.

When asked why she was not wearing gloves, Ms Mysllinj replied: ‘We don’t wear them in Romania.’Other anecdotal evidence of problems caused by poor communication skills includes a female in-patient recovering from surgery who resorted to calling 999 after repeatedly failing to get the nurse to understand that she needed to see the on-call doctor.Howard Catton, head of policy at the Royal College of Nursing, says: ‘The reliance on foreign nurses is absolutely symptomatic of the failure to properly secure the supply of nurses that we as a country need — it is a boom-and-bust policy.‘It is also incredibly risky to rely on nurses coming from overseas as a permanent solution because you don’t know how long people will stay.They may decide to settle, but an awful lot of folk may come for a short period of time and then go back.An investigation by the Nursing Times found that 40 NHS trusts – one in three of those who responded - has actively recruited form overseas in recent months, with Spain and Portugal the most popular countries.Penny Venables, of Worcester Acute Hospitals Trust, which has taken on 20 Spanish nurses, told the Independent on Sunday: ‘There is a lot of interest from Spain and Greece and countries where there have been economic challenges.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.For staff of the Open Frontiers recruitment agency, business could hardly have been better this summer.Based in the north of Spain, it specialises in finding nurses willing to leave their homes in the country and travel to Britain to work in the NHS — and demand for the agency’s services is high.‘Urgent,’ began an appeal on its website to fill 30 vacancies at a hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, this October. Excellent location, less than ten minutes from Leeds, the economic capital of the North of the UK.’Another posting sought nurses to head to Gloucester, a place where one can enjoy the other big cities nearby ‘as well as the tranquillity of nature’ — all while pocketing up to £28,000 a year for a 37.5-hour week, plus double time over the holidays.‘If you are looking for a hospital that will develop you professionally, in which you will feel liked and appreciated and where you can participate in a “Spanish community”, this is your opportunity,’ it reads.Under rules on freedom of labour, staff from the EU are able to register to work in this country without checks on their language or competence.Health regulators are not allowed to set tests at a national level, but instead must rely on individual trusts and other employers to carry out checks.


  1. Jun 16, 2015. Until we didn't. I am grateful every day that we didn't make it because I adore being married to my boy in blue. Being married to a police officer is totally different than being married to a regular Joe. It is a responsibility, a burden and an honor/blessing for those of you who are religious. It is often thankless.

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