IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Filipino nurses plug Brexit staffing gaps at the Whittington

Sixty new staff hired after Asia headhunting mission have already started work at Archway Hospital

16 June, 2017

Whittington Hospital

WHITTINGTON Hospital has hired dozens of nurses from Asia after a massive drop in job applications from Europe following the Brexit referendum.

Whittington bosses flew out to the Philip­pines on a headhunting mission earlier this year. Sixty new staff hired there have already started work at the Archway hospital.

There are serious nursing staff shortages across the country, with new figures showing applications from Europe have plunged by 96 per cent since the result of the EU referendum last year.

Whittington chief executive Simon Pleydell said: “We were pleased to recruit 60 nurses from the Philippines last month. We will be continuing to implement our overall recruitment strategy to ensure our workforce plans meet the needs of our services to enable us to continue providing high-quality and safe care for patients.”

Six years ago, hospitals significantly reduced the number of nurses during austerity cuts. But after a series of high-profile cases of patient neglect, the government ordered NHS boards to increase nurse staffing.

Nursing staff shortages mean crucial finances are spent on bringing in expensive agency staff.

Shirley Franklin, from Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition, said: “The cap on nursing pay is the issue here. There are plenty of people who want to be nurses. If they paid them properly there wouldn’t be a problem.”

A Whittington spokeswoman said hiring Filipino nurses was “a positive result for the team that went over there to ensure our nurse workforce needs are met”.

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