Portuguese nurses recruited to hospital

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Nurses from Portugal took up new posts and began training at Scunthorpe General Hospital today (January 12).

A total 17 Portuguese nurses were recruited by Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust – with six to be based permanently at Scunthorpe.

It is the first time staff have been recruited from Portugal, although 20 Spanish nurses were taken on towards the end of last year.

A Trust spokeswoman said: “The recruitment drive took place in November 2014. We regularly promote vacancies across the UK including holding local recruitment events to attract the best nursing staff for our three hospitals, but the Trust is trying a mixture of different approaches as part of its workforce strategy to fill nursing vacancies with permanent staff.”

The Portuguese intake will go through a six-week introductory period which will include both theoretical and practical training, she said, to allow them to get used to the English system before officially starting their new roles.

Portuguese nurses gain an English qualification as part of their nursing degree, and the Trust looks for those with a qualification at intermediate level or above.

The spokeswoman added: “The Trust Skype applicants to test their English skills from which people are shortlisted, then the face-to-face interviews are in English.”

She continued: “A Portuguese nursing degree lasts four years. The last year is very practical based for them so they come with skills already put into practice.”