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International recruitment drive brings Italian nurses to County Durham and Darlington

italian nurses 2

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is welcoming 19 new nurses from Italy to join its workforce.

The nurses arrived in the region this month to take up posts at hospitals across the Trust including University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital following a successful recruitment drive in Italy. 

Executive Director of Nursing for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Noel Scanlon said: "We are delighted to welcome our nursing colleagues from Italy. Like many NHS Trusts we have been experiencing pressures on recruiting to our nursing vacancies. We work very closely with local universities to recruit newly-qualified nurses and we have a rolling programme of recruitment within the UK, however difficulties recruiting and a national shortages of qualified nurses has led us to look at alternative ways for filling posts.


"Our priority is to deliver safe, quality care to our patients and to do so in line with national recommendations for safe staffing levels. In past years, we have achieved this with a reliance on agency staffing.  While agency staff provide us with a valuable service we recognise the benefits in terms of continuity of care for patients of having a more permanent workforce and there are obviously significant financial implications associated with using agency staff. All these factors led us to consider recruiting internationally.


"We have successfully recruited 19 nurses who have now started their induction and orientation with us and we will be welcoming further Italian recruits over the next few months.  Our first group of nurses will work across different specialities and in addition to complying with NMC regulations for working in the UK, we are supporting them with an intensive four week induction programme which covers NHS protocols, systems and clinical governance as well as fire training, manual handling and care plans and we are also working with Derwentside College to deliver a supplementary language course."


County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is the largest integrated provider of hospital and community health services in the North East. The Trust serves a population of 650,000 with a workforce of 8,000 including 2814 registered nurses. Before undertaking the international recruitment drive, the Trust had nearly 200 nursing vacancies.

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham