Recently a government report revealed that there could be a shortage of almost 50,000 nurses within three years, based on current trends.
In the short term, NHS trusts are recruiting nurses from overseas to plug the shortfall in staff and the UK has seen these numbers double in the last three years. A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Recruiting from abroad is nothing new. Overseas nurses make a very valuable contribution to the NHS patient care. However, they should only ever work in the NHS if they have proven their competence and language skills.” Hospitals are said to have recruited from 29 countries outside the UK including their highest numbers from Portugal, Spain, Ireland and the Philippines. Of 105 NHS trusts, 40 have actively recruited nurses from abroad in the last twelve months to ensure staff shortages do not impair patient care and safety.