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  1. ITV Report

Nurses from overseas bridging the recruitment gap at hospitals across the Meridian region

Many hospitals in our region are recruiting nurses from India and the Philippines because of a shortage of staff here in the UK.

ITV News Meridian has found that thousands of nursing jobs are available at Health Trusts across the south east.

1,121
Vacancies at hospitals across the Thames Valley
945
Vacancies at hospitals across Kent
774
Vacancies at hospitals across Sussex
196
Vacancies in Bournemouth and Poole

NHS bosses say they're recruiting from Asian countries as fewer British and EU nurses are applying for jobs here amid the uncertainty of Brexit and what the future may hold.

  • WATCH: Tom Savvides reports exclusively from Eastbourne Hospital

Patricia Marquis, the Director of the Royal College of Nursing, said that action is needed now to address the shortage, including better funding for healthcare education.

  • WATCH: Patricia Marquis speaks to Fred Dineage about the nurse recruitment crisis

There could be more done to attract people back to the profession but it is in fact a world shortage of nurses, not just in the UK."

– Patricia Marquis, Director of the RCN

The Department of Health and Social Care told ITV Meridian that they've announced funding to support placements for an extra 5,000 pre-registration nurses in the UK last year.

To help recruit and retain dedicated staff we’re giving every nurse a £1,000 personal training budget, provided funding to support an extra 5,000 nursing university places each year and are supporting more international recruitment."

– Department of Health and Social Care Spokesperson