Overseas nurse recruitment plans for north Wales

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Health chiefs say they are considering hiring nurses from the Philippines to plug staffing gaps in north Wales.

A report to the region's health board on Thursday says the move is being explored as part of an all-Wales overseas recruitment plan.

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) said despite job fairs in Ireland, Scotland and England there was still a shortfall in filled posts.

It comes as new laws on safe nursing levels in Wales come into force.

The report to the joint meeting of the health board and the North Wales Community Health Council, which acts as a patients' watchdog, states that not all hospital acute wards are "fully compliant" with the number of nurses and ward managers required.

"Recruitment to registered nurses' posts remains a challenge with a resulting increase in the usage of bank and agency staff to address gaps," said assistant director of nursing Anne-Marie Rowlands.

"A variety of strategies to address this continues, including attendance at job fairs, with BCUHB attending Ireland in April 2016 and Glasgow and Manchester in June 2016."

The nursing official said graduate recruitment and bringing new staff from Europe "continues with much success".

But Mrs Rowlands added: "Further overseas recruitment is planned and BCUHB are exploring recruitment in the Philippines as part of the all-Wales overseas recruitment plan."

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