Royal Bolton Hospital may hire nurses from abroad to fill shortage

The Royal Bolton Hospital

The Royal Bolton Hospital

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , health reporter

THE Royal Bolton Hospital is struggling to fill staff vacancies — and could look abroad to find new recruits.

The problem of staffing levels was raised by the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust board of directors, who say filling hospital vacancies is an issue across the UK.

In July, the trust announced plans to appoint 143 new nursing staff as part of a £2.5 million investment.

Trish Armstrong-Child said that recruitment had been a problem.

She said: “There are a lot of trusts increasing their workforce and there is no doubt we are fishing in a very small pond.

“I think it’s because we have got to saturation level in terms of trade nurses. We need to look at going abroad.

“What we also need to look at is the recruitment process. We need to look at whether this organisations as an attractive place to work and we should look to our university to help with that.”

Health bosses were not able to say how many vacancies there are at the trust but say they have been actively recruiting since June.

So far, 53 new staff nurses have started at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Another 29 nurses have been offered jobs and are currently going through pre-employment checks.

There have also been another 76 new health care assistants start work at the hospital since June with another 36 undergoing checks.

The trust has since said there are no immediate plans to recruit abroad.

Miss Armstrong-Child added: “All adverts have gone through NHS jobs and we have not advertised abroad.

“It is difficult to be specific how many more are required as this depends on turnover.”

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) say understaffing is a problem across the NHS and that trusts should encourage retired nurses to return to work.

Janine Dyson, RCN North West Officer, said: “Moves to increase frontline nursing staff are welcomed. But a long-term solution is needed.

“The RCN wants to see a national and consistent co-ordination of workforce planning, and a reversal in the cut to the number of nursing student places commissioned.

"At the same time, employers should encourage retired nursing leaders to return to the profession, as well as look at other initiatives like flexible retirement.”

It is not the first time the Royal Bolton Hospital has recruited staff from abroad.

In 2002, 24 nurses from the Philippines arrived in the town to fill a shortfall of nurses.

Many have settled in Bolton, made it their home and are still a vital part of the team at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Comments (13)

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6:28am Thu 26 Dec 13

Rememberscarborough says...

Be very careful about this!! Personal experience has taught me that communication between patients, relatives and medical staff is hugely important. Trying to get a broad Boltonian and a nurse whose English language skills are extremely restricted to understand each other is very difficult. Add to that the complications of ill people who have little patience (no pun intended) and this could severely harm patient care.

Both sides end up frustrated and it ends up with huge distrust. If someone dies because of this and the relationships break down suddenly we end up with a powder keg of a situation with an inevitable explosion of violence.

The simple answer is only to employ those who have a good verbally understanding of the English language but is our society too PC to understand this?
Be very careful about this!! Personal experience has taught me that communication between patients, relatives and medical staff is hugely important. Trying to get a broad Boltonian and a nurse whose English language skills are extremely restricted to understand each other is very difficult. Add to that the complications of ill people who have little patience (no pun intended) and this could severely harm patient care. Both sides end up frustrated and it ends up with huge distrust. If someone dies because of this and the relationships break down suddenly we end up with a powder keg of a situation with an inevitable explosion of violence. The simple answer is only to employ those who have a good verbally understanding of the English language but is our society too PC to understand this? Rememberscarborough
  • Score: 30

6:35am Thu 26 Dec 13

oftbewildered2 says...

Is there a general shortage of UK trained nurses? If this is so, does that mean that there is a high drop out rate from the training courses, or are staff leaving for other reasons (eg to work abroad, or to work Agency, etc.?). This has always been a problem to a greater or lesser degree.. I have friends who have gone to work abroad; it cost a lot of money to train them and they are all highly skilled. If retention is becoming a really big problem, then there are obviously issues which need to be looked at (I mean nationally, not just RBH)
Is there a general shortage of UK trained nurses? If this is so, does that mean that there is a high drop out rate from the training courses, or are staff leaving for other reasons (eg to work abroad, or to work Agency, etc.?). This has always been a problem to a greater or lesser degree.. I have friends who have gone to work abroad; it cost a lot of money to train them and they are all highly skilled. If retention is becoming a really big problem, then there are obviously issues which need to be looked at (I mean nationally, not just RBH) oftbewildered2
  • Score: 25

9:45am Thu 26 Dec 13

thomas222 says...

Nursing is a vocation in this Country while many of these nurses in other Countrys its a neccesity to live.
Nursing is a vocation in this Country while many of these nurses in other Countrys its a neccesity to live. thomas222
  • Score: 5

11:25am Thu 26 Dec 13

hoboh2o says...

I am afraid many ‘home grown’ nurses have left the profession in the main due to the poor working conditions inflicted on them. This plus a total lack of investment in training, a poor image of the work and lack of respect as professional people make becoming a nurse unattractive.
Pen pushers and bean counters are and have been more valued than nurses, this is the problem and keep recruiting overseas is not a long term answer, cheaper maybe due to minimal training having to be given but not the safest best option.
I am afraid many ‘home grown’ nurses have left the profession in the main due to the poor working conditions inflicted on them. This plus a total lack of investment in training, a poor image of the work and lack of respect as professional people make becoming a nurse unattractive. Pen pushers and bean counters are and have been more valued than nurses, this is the problem and keep recruiting overseas is not a long term answer, cheaper maybe due to minimal training having to be given but not the safest best option. hoboh2o
  • Score: 13

11:31am Thu 26 Dec 13

Wigan Trotter says...

What else do you expect with the erosion of pay which is making it more and more worthwhile to live on benefits and do 'cash in hand' jobs!
What else do you expect with the erosion of pay which is making it more and more worthwhile to live on benefits and do 'cash in hand' jobs! Wigan Trotter
  • Score: 1

12:23pm Thu 26 Dec 13

heaton watcher says...

Wigan Trotter wrote:
What else do you expect with the erosion of pay which is making it more and more worthwhile to live on benefits and do 'cash in hand' jobs!
Nurses doing "cash in hand" jobs?!
[quote][p][bold]Wigan Trotter[/bold] wrote: What else do you expect with the erosion of pay which is making it more and more worthwhile to live on benefits and do 'cash in hand' jobs![/p][/quote]Nurses doing "cash in hand" jobs?! heaton watcher
  • Score: 11

12:52pm Thu 26 Dec 13

Reality50 says...

There is NOT a shortage of British nurses. It is a lie peddled by the hospital trusts. There are thousands on bank lists and in training colleges. BRITISH JOBS FOR BRITISH WORKERS !!!!!!
There is NOT a shortage of British nurses. It is a lie peddled by the hospital trusts. There are thousands on bank lists and in training colleges. BRITISH JOBS FOR BRITISH WORKERS !!!!!! Reality50
  • Score: 19

1:05pm Thu 26 Dec 13

Citizen Cane says...

2.5m unemployed and RBH "may" recruit abroad? Yet another public sector triumph.
2.5m unemployed and RBH "may" recruit abroad? Yet another public sector triumph. Citizen Cane
  • Score: 14

1:16pm Thu 26 Dec 13

Beyond News Forum says...

Go to Bulgaria for example to see the standards that are being worked to and the conditions that nurses are willing to work in for the pay that they receive and you will quickly see what the philosophy here is.

I might be being non-pc but this is the truth. I have family in the nursing profession, it is true that pay and conditions are a major factor here along with cuts and the EU.
Go to Bulgaria for example to see the standards that are being worked to and the conditions that nurses are willing to work in for the pay that they receive and you will quickly see what the philosophy here is. I might be being non-pc but this is the truth. I have family in the nursing profession, it is true that pay and conditions are a major factor here along with cuts and the EU. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 2

1:17pm Thu 26 Dec 13

Beyond News Forum says...

Reality50 wrote:
There is NOT a shortage of British nurses. It is a lie peddled by the hospital trusts. There are thousands on bank lists and in training colleges. BRITISH JOBS FOR BRITISH WORKERS !!!!!!
Oh and ^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^
^^^^^^^
[quote][p][bold]Reality50[/bold] wrote: There is NOT a shortage of British nurses. It is a lie peddled by the hospital trusts. There are thousands on bank lists and in training colleges. BRITISH JOBS FOR BRITISH WORKERS !!!!!![/p][/quote]Oh and ^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ Beyond News Forum
  • Score: -9

1:43pm Thu 26 Dec 13

Tel30 says...

I wonder if many of the shortages are because of "sick leave"
I wonder if many of the shortages are because of "sick leave" Tel30
  • Score: -6

6:40am Fri 27 Dec 13

Wigan Trotter says...

heaton watcher wrote:
Wigan Trotter wrote:
What else do you expect with the erosion of pay which is making it more and more worthwhile to live on benefits and do 'cash in hand' jobs!
Nurses doing "cash in hand" jobs?!
My comment was about the situation in general and why jobs are now being done by cheap labour from abroad.

For example, the minimum wage with no increments for working unsocial hours is no incentive for many British people to work, but to a person from a poor country, it is a fortune.

For many at the lower end of the labour market, it has become the norm to claim benefits and do jobs where you get money in your hand.

Years ago, when we had competitive wages and less in benefits, there was never a problem filling jobs.

Now as a result of the gap between benefits and the lowest wages having become less as a result of the minimum wage with no increments, poor pay awards and pay freezes, we now have a situation of more and more jobs being filled by immigrants.

At the same time, those higher up the ladder like politicians, bankers etc carry on feathering their own nests with pay awards like 11%.
[quote][p][bold]heaton watcher[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Wigan Trotter[/bold] wrote: What else do you expect with the erosion of pay which is making it more and more worthwhile to live on benefits and do 'cash in hand' jobs![/p][/quote]Nurses doing "cash in hand" jobs?![/p][/quote]My comment was about the situation in general and why jobs are now being done by cheap labour from abroad. For example, the minimum wage with no increments for working unsocial hours is no incentive for many British people to work, but to a person from a poor country, it is a fortune. For many at the lower end of the labour market, it has become the norm to claim benefits and do jobs where you get money in your hand. Years ago, when we had competitive wages and less in benefits, there was never a problem filling jobs. Now as a result of the gap between benefits and the lowest wages having become less as a result of the minimum wage with no increments, poor pay awards and pay freezes, we now have a situation of more and more jobs being filled by immigrants. At the same time, those higher up the ladder like politicians, bankers etc carry on feathering their own nests with pay awards like 11%. Wigan Trotter
  • Score: -3

1:02pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Puffin-Billy says...

Trish Armstrong-Child is talking the usual corporate claptrap which appears daily on these pages (mostly lies) on behalf of those who are destroying our NHS.

And please, Councillor Andy Morgan spare us your crocodile tears- it's your party, together with the Liberal Party, and Labour who originated the cuts, which is implementing the NHS them on behalf of private healthcare companies.

Anyone who cares about the NHS must vote for a Socialist Party which will:
1. Actively oppose and repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
2. Re-nationalise and seize on behalf of the British taxpayer, privatised NHS assets, estates, or facilities.

And shame on any British trade unionist, Labour Councillor, or Labour MP, who does not actively work for the above.

The NHS is not “Free at the point of delivery”. If I ask for a drink in a cafe, whether my friend or I paid for it five minutes ago, or five years ago, it isn’t free, and my Big Bolton Health Check isn’t free; I have paid for that too.

But the “Enemy Within”, with vested interests in the private health industry, love propagating that myth, because it sows the idea in the mind of the public, that all these years, they’ve been getting “something for nothing”, enabling people such as Professor Malcolm Grant, chair of NHS England to call for charges for GP services.

Another myth is that: “...old people living longer are a strain on the NHS”. The biggest strain on the NHS is that imposed on it by the Department of Health, on the advice of McKinsey, a consultancy firm, and announced in 2009 by NHS chief executive David Nicholson. It is a deliberate strategy, whose purpose is to justify privatisation of the NHS.


The Royal College of General Practitioners has warned the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt that spending on GPs has fallen by £400 million in the past three years, - a 7 per cent cut for every patient in England-: and the chair of the Dr Clare Gerada said that the losses could be as much as £1 billion - and that it could destabilise the entire NHS.

!!!!!!!!! But that is the whole idea of the cuts!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that is why Jeremy Hunt despite all his pretence, does not care; in fact he has described the NHS as a '60-year-old mistake'.

That is the philosophy behind his refusing the request of the Royal College of Nursing to provide MINIMUM numbers of nurses on NHS wards- despite the fact that nurses have been bursting into tears because they are unable to provide the care they want to give patients; resulting in patients being dehydrated, starved, and unwashed.

Our NHS is under strain deliberately so; because our politicians, in collusion with private health firms have been following the advice of financial consultants Mc Kinsey to cut NHS spending by 20 or so billions of pounds.

McKinsey has earned at least £13.8million from Government health policy since the Coalition took office – and the 2013 bill opens up most of the current £106 billion NHS budget to the private sector, with much of it likely to go to McKinsey clients.


That's why 5,500 nursing posts have been cut since Coalition came into office, and that's why as of July 2013, the number of nursing posts in the NHS was reduced by almost 1,000 in one month.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!A
nd there will be more cuts in the number of NHS nurses – up to 1,000 per month – because more than 140 NHS foundation trusts are planning, I repeat, for the benefit of Trish Armstrong-Child !!!!!!!!!!!PLANNING!
!!!!!!!!!!!!! to slash their workforce by 30,000 by 2016.

Not one aspect of the NHS is safe from privatisation: Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act, has opened up the NHS like a car boot sale, making it compulsory for services (sexual health, children’s services, radiology departments, diagnostic and urgent care centres and even entire GP practices) to be put out to tender: and it is Monitor’s job (David Wakefield’s in Bolton NHS) to make sure it happens.

The so-called “reforms” have already handed £7billion in contracts to private firms such as Virgin, private equity-owned Care UK, Serco and Circle.

Just a coincidence then that Lord Glendonbrook (Conservative): owns shares in Serco; that Lord Filkin (Labour) is a paid adviser to Serco; and that Lord Gavron and Baroness James (Conservative) own shares in Serco !!!!!

The cuts of £20bn, to be achieved by 2013-14, necessitate amongst many other things, a reduction in medical school places; an early retirement programme making way for GPs and community nurses from (surprise, surprise) India , the Philipines, Spain and France, who will be strangers to the very concept and ethos of the NHS; and who will be thus be sympathetic to the privatisation of GP surgeries and to the setting up of private community health clinics.

And, of course,there is the land-grab; selling off to private health companies £8.3 billion worth of hospital estates, hence A+E and other department closures ( K2 at Bolton? ).

WAKE UP BOLTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!! WAKE UP BRITAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!
Trish Armstrong-Child is talking the usual corporate claptrap which appears daily on these pages (mostly lies) on behalf of those who are destroying our NHS. And please, Councillor Andy Morgan spare us your crocodile tears- it's your party, together with the Liberal Party, and Labour who originated the cuts, which is implementing the NHS them on behalf of private healthcare companies. Anyone who cares about the NHS must vote for a Socialist Party which will: 1. Actively oppose and repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012. 2. Re-nationalise and seize on behalf of the British taxpayer, privatised NHS assets, estates, or facilities. And shame on any British trade unionist, Labour Councillor, or Labour MP, who does not actively work for the above. The NHS is not “Free at the point of delivery”. If I ask for a drink in a cafe, whether my friend or I paid for it five minutes ago, or five years ago, it isn’t free, and my Big Bolton Health Check isn’t free; I have paid for that too. But the “Enemy Within”, with vested interests in the private health industry, love propagating that myth, because it sows the idea in the mind of the public, that all these years, they’ve been getting “something for nothing”, enabling people such as Professor Malcolm Grant, chair of NHS England to call for charges for GP services. Another myth is that: “...old people living longer are a strain on the NHS”. The biggest strain on the NHS is that imposed on it by the Department of Health, on the advice of McKinsey, a consultancy firm, and announced in 2009 by NHS chief executive David Nicholson. It is a deliberate strategy, whose purpose is to justify privatisation of the NHS. The Royal College of General Practitioners has warned the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt that spending on GPs has fallen by £400 million in the past three years, - a 7 per cent cut for every patient in England-: and the chair of the Dr Clare Gerada said that the losses could be as much as £1 billion - and that it could destabilise the entire NHS. !!!!!!!!! But that is the whole idea of the cuts!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that is why Jeremy Hunt despite all his pretence, does not care; in fact he has described the NHS as a '60-year-old mistake'. That is the philosophy behind his refusing the request of the Royal College of Nursing to provide MINIMUM numbers of nurses on NHS wards- despite the fact that nurses have been bursting into tears because they are unable to provide the care they want to give patients; resulting in patients being dehydrated, starved, and unwashed. Our NHS is under strain deliberately so; because our politicians, in collusion with private health firms have been following the advice of financial consultants Mc Kinsey to cut NHS spending by 20 or so billions of pounds. McKinsey has earned at least £13.8million from Government health policy since the Coalition took office – and the 2013 bill opens up most of the current £106 billion NHS budget to the private sector, with much of it likely to go to McKinsey clients. That's why 5,500 nursing posts have been cut since Coalition came into office, and that's why as of July 2013, the number of nursing posts in the NHS was reduced by almost 1,000 in one month. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!A nd there will be more cuts in the number of NHS nurses – up to 1,000 per month – because more than 140 NHS foundation trusts are planning, I repeat, for the benefit of Trish Armstrong-Child !!!!!!!!!!!PLANNING! !!!!!!!!!!!!! to slash their workforce by 30,000 by 2016. Not one aspect of the NHS is safe from privatisation: Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act, has opened up the NHS like a car boot sale, making it compulsory for services (sexual health, children’s services, radiology departments, diagnostic and urgent care centres and even entire GP practices) to be put out to tender: and it is Monitor’s job (David Wakefield’s in Bolton NHS) to make sure it happens. The so-called “reforms” have already handed £7billion in contracts to private firms such as Virgin, private equity-owned Care UK, Serco and Circle. Just a coincidence then that Lord Glendonbrook (Conservative): owns shares in Serco; that Lord Filkin (Labour) is a paid adviser to Serco; and that Lord Gavron and Baroness James (Conservative) own shares in Serco !!!!! The cuts of £20bn, to be achieved by 2013-14, necessitate amongst many other things, a reduction in medical school places; an early retirement programme making way for GPs and community nurses from (surprise, surprise) India , the Philipines, Spain and France, who will be strangers to the very concept and ethos of the NHS; and who will be thus be sympathetic to the privatisation of GP surgeries and to the setting up of private community health clinics. And, of course,there is the land-grab; selling off to private health companies £8.3 billion worth of hospital estates, hence A+E and other department closures ( K2 at Bolton? ). WAKE UP BOLTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!! WAKE UP BRITAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! Puffin-Billy
  • Score: 2

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