Kettering hospital looks to India to recruit nurses after EU 'dries up'

Kettering General Hospital will be recruiting staff from India in a bid to tackle its large staff shortage.

Currently the hospital has 433 full time job vacancies, which is just over 10 per cent of its needed workforce.

The hospital currently has more than 400 full time vacancies and is holding a recruitment drive in India to find more staff.

The hospital currently has more than 400 full time vacancies and is holding a recruitment drive in India to find more staff.

Now in a bid to plug the gap and stop the expensive spend on agency staff the requires-improvement hospital will be heading overseas

The hospital’s HR director Mark Smith told the trust board at a meeting today (Jul y31) that the EU market for staff had ‘dried up’ and the search would have to widen into another continent.

He said: “Vacancies continue to be our largest challenge. Turnover has now stabilised and we are working on retention and how we close our vacancy position.

“EU recruitment has dried up by 99 per cent. That is no longer the place to go so we have to look further afield. We are undertaking an international recruitment campaign and we are going overseas at the end of August. Those nurses won’t start to come in until around April time.”

The hospital is currently in a tight financial position and last month had a £1.3m overspend on staff pay.

Mr Smith told the board that a staff nurse can cost £17.50 per hour whereas this rate shoots up to £40 if its is through an agency. The HR director said that even with an agency bank there was still a seven per cent staffing gap.

Figures released last November showed that the hospital has 199 staff from the EU, with 49 of its 436 doctors from member states.

There are currently 41,000 nursing vacancies across the UK, a situation which the Royal College of Nursing has said the number of unfilled vacancies is rising year on year.