Lincolnshire hospitals look abroad for new nurses

Boston's Pilgrim Hospital, Lincoln County Hospital and Grantham Hospital United Lincolnshire trust runs hospitals in Grantham, Boston and Lincoln

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A hospital trust says it will have to recruit new nurses from abroad after a poor response locally.

The United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust (ULHT) was placed into special measures after a review by NHS England medical director Bruce Keogh.

It was criticised for its staffing levels, poor patient experience and constant changes in leadership.

The board said it was addressing issues and making improvements but had to look further afield for new staff.

The Keogh report had criticised the trust for not prioritising patient experience and said a constant change in leadership had "created cultural problems" and "led staff to feel uncertain".

Trust chief executive Jane Lewington said they needed to recruit 125 new nurses.

Action plan

She said the recruitment process received 115 applications and as a result they would be widening recruitment to Ireland and Spain.

She added: "We have already started recruitment and one of the very practical things we have done is tell every student nurse in the area there will be jobs available for them at Lincolnshire hospitals."

Mrs Lewington also revealed that 30 beds had been removed at hospitals in Grantham and Boston to help consolidate nurses and reduce staffing pressures on other wards.

"Of course there are occasions where we are not providing the care to the standards we would expect and the nurses would want to provide," she said.

"It is about nurses having more time to look proactively at the care plan for the individual patients without it impacting on the care the other patients receive."

The trust also said it was putting together a leadership plan which would give guidance to management and see directors moved out of the headquarters and into Lincoln City Hospital.

An action plan from the trust said a new medical director had been appointed and it was also in the process of hiring directors in finance and HR.

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