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Spain relief

16 June 2014

Health Care

The first group of newly recruited nursing staff from Spain have arrived at Southend University Hospital to help improve nurse staffing numbers, after the Trust’s board agreed to recruit 120 nurses to help fill hard to recruit to roles.

A total of 19 male and female nurses, who are from right across Spain, are currently nearing the end of their four week induction programme to familiarise themselves with both the hospital and working and living in the UK.

The group were recently enjoying the sunshine in Southend, during a break from one of their inductions, where they took the opportunity to take in the views of the seafront from Pier Hill.

Teresa Garcia, 24, from Valladolid, will be working in gastroenterology and explained why she had taken the opportunity to work at Southend Hospital. She said: "In Spain the same job opportunities as a nurse just aren't there and being here in Southend allows us to really develop and grow as a professional. It's also a great opportunity culturally, being so close to London."

Manuel Magro, also 24, from Huelva in Andalucia will be working in palliative care. He commented: "Southend is very similar in size and feel to my home town. I feel really comfortable here and we've just had so much support and everyone we have met, in the hospital and around town, has been really polite and friendly."

The next group are coming over for induction in August, followed by a further group in September, this staggered approach allowing for settling in and ensuring the new Spanish nursing staff have the best support possible, which benefits them, the hospital and patients. The hospital is still very much committed to recruiting UK nurses as well.

Cheryl Schwarz, associate director of nursing, concluded: "The Trust is very pleased to have been able to recruit a number of qualified, professional and enthusiastic nurses from all over Spain, who will be working in many different departments across the hospital.  They will be given a warm welcome by everyone and we hope they enjoy this opportunity."