Hospital bosses are recruiting Spanish healthcare workers to plug staffing shortages after coming under fire for not having enough nurses on duty.
Sixty Spanish nurses will be employed by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract, and Dewsbury hospitals, under a £1.2m recruitment drive.
The move was announced after Gate 43, an elderly ward at Pinderfields, was temporarily closed because of low staffing levels and poor standards of care.
Following the closure three weeks ago, Mid Yorkshire was accused of failing to act on warnings of low staffing levels issued two months earlier by the nursing union the Royal College of Nursing.
A survey published by the Care Quality Commission earlier this month also found that Mid Yorkshire was among the worst NHS trusts in the country for patients feeling there were enough nurses on duty.
A report to this week’s meeting of the trust board said recruitment would take place in Madrid.
David Melia, the trust’s interim deputy chief nurse, said nurses were also being recruited locally.
He said: “We want to hear from anyone who is interested in working for us as a nurse, midwife or healthcare assistant.
“As part of our campaign we’re looking to recruit 60 nurses from Spain over the next six months.
“This is to support our domestic recruitment plan to ensure that we have a safe and sustainable nurse-to-patient ratio on our hospital wards.
“We are excited by the opportunities for recruiting nurses from the UK and Spain and I’m sure colleagues across the trust will give a warm and supportive welcome.
“All new recruits will go through a full and rigorous selection process that tests both the professional and clinical skills of the applicants as well as their communication skills.”
Mid Yorkshire said it was also planning an open day for undergraduate nurses on June 24.