US labour market will look anywhere to find nurses

Nurses' leaders warned last night that the expansion of the NHS was "built on sand", relying too much on the recruitment of overseas and temporary staff who may quit at short notice.

The Royal College of Nursing said its annual survey of the NHS labour market had found that the nursing and midwifery workforce in England had grown by 16% to 292,000 over the past four years, exceeding government targets.

But this was largely achieved by recruiting foreign &to=http:// ' target=_blank>nurses - notably from the Philippines, India and South Africa - and increasing the use of casual staff, the Guardian informed.

While some 35,000 new nurses were taken on in one year alone, 30,000 left, including those retiring.

RCN general secretary Beverley Malone said UK nurses were being targeted by an aggressive &to=http:// ' target=_blank>US market.

"They (the US) will look anywhere where they can find them but, with needing a million nurses, they’re going to have to look around quite a bit," Dr Malone told the BBC Breakfast programme.

The RCN said longer-term dependency on temporary NHS staff could drain resources and highlight the problem of failing to recruit enough permanent staff, reports the Scotsman.

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