[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 05:23 GMT 06:23 UK
London 'relies' on foreign nurses
Nurse - anonymous
The NHS could face US competition for its overseas recruits
London relies more on overseas-trained health staff than any other part of the UK, says a report by the King's Fund.

In the three London NHS trusts studied by the health charity, between 12% and 25% of nurses were not UK trained.

The results are up to six times higher than Royal College of Nursing (RCN) figures, showing 4% of its UK members qualified abroad.

The report's author, Professor James Buchan, said London's NHS should recruit more from local communities.

He said: "International recruitment was initially regarded as a quick-fix, but it's now clear this is an integral part of many hospitals' recruitment strategies.

"While overseas health workers are playing a key role in delivering patient care in the capital, the NHS cannot afford to rely too heavily on them."

'Acute staff shortage'

He said more local recruitment would provide "a more sustainable solution to London's health workforce challenges".

The RCN's Lucy Hamilton told BBC News Online the figures were no surprise.

She said: "There is a high turnover of nurses in London, we have an acute shortage of staff here and generally the NHS is being propped up by nurses from overseas."

The study also says increasing competition for overseas recruits from other countries could mean more problems for London.

King's Fund chief executive Niall Dixon said the policy should also be reassessed to ensure it is not depriving patients in developing countries of health professionals.

The NHS says its code of ethics prevents hospitals recruiting from certain developing countries that cannot afford to lose health staff.




SEE ALSO:
Doctors unable to treat patients
29 Jun 04  |  Health
NHS 'exploiting poor countries'
28 Jun 04  |  Health
Foreign surgeons 'inexperienced'
13 May 04  |  Health


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific