Nurses from the Philippines swelling the ranks at Norfolk hospital

PUBLISHED: 12:30 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:37 17 April 2019

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn. Photo: QEH

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn. Photo: QEH


More than 80 new nurses are joining a Norfolk after a successful international recruitment campaign.

A total of 81 experienced nurses from the Philippines will be joining the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's medical and surgical wards before Christmas.

Low staffing levels on some wards was singled out by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission when it rated the QEH inadequate last September.

Its report said: “Staff turnover, sickness and nurse vacancy rates were higher than the trust targets. There was evidence that low nurse staffing levels were impacting on patient safety because staff did not have capacity to assess patient risk and meet basic food, drink and toileting needs promptly.”

The hospital said it has 158 nurse vacancies and has been running successful international, national and local campaigns to fill these posts.

Chief executive Caroline Shaw said: “We are really excited to be welcoming 81 experienced and compassionate nurses to the QEH before Christmas”.

“Our nursing recruitment team was incredibly impressed with the high standards they have witnessed during the interview process.

“This influx of new nurses is not only going to make a difference to the lives of our patients but also our staff and the Hospital's financial position as we reduce our agency staff bill.”

Acting chief nurse Val Newton, recruitment and retention sister Debbie Frost, clinical educator Marentia De Villiers and lead nurse Merwyn Agcaoili were part of the recruitment team which headed out to the Philippines at the end of March.

Since January, the Hospital has also welcomed a further 26 international nurses to the team.

The QEH is also continuing with its grow your own strategy by helping to develop existing staff along with working closely with the College of West Anglia.

Miss Newton said: “We are absolutely delighted and thrilled that the diverse international nurse community in the QEH is being expanded to care for the people of West Norfolk.”

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