In a bid to address shortage of healthcare workers, more than 100 professionals from India are set to be recruited by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) Trust that runs the York and Scarborough Hospitals.
According to The Scarborough News, the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has made offers to 107 medical staff, including 97 registered nurses and 10 allied health professionals, following a recruitment trip to Kerala.
"The Trust has started the process to bid for NHS England funding to support international nursing recruitment between April - November 2023 and has indicated a target of 90 international nurses which could generate 450,000 pounds in funding," members of the trust's board of directors were told.
The Trust, which has been facing issues with the recruitment and retention of staff, stated that "work is underway to process applications and support candidates with their English to enable cohorts to be drafted so we can plan commencement dates across 2023/24".
The trust, which runs York and Scarborough hospitals, had an 11.5 per cent vacancy rate for healthcare support workers in adult inpatient areas and a 14.5 per cent vacancy rate for registered nurses in adult inpatient areas in January this year, according to the news report.
The vacancy rate on adult inpatient wards dropped to 7.6 per cent after international nurses joined the trust, the board was told.
She said there was "immense work ongoing around retention" and added that the trust was struggling with staff who were leaving "very quickly", chief nurse Heather McNair said at a previous board meeting.
McNair added that the vacancy levels for healthcare assistants remains high.
On December 15, 2022, nurses of the state-funded NHS carried out their first nationwide strike in the union's 106-year history amid rising costs and demand for salary hikes.
An estimated 100,000 nurses went on strike at 76 hospitals and health centres, cancelling an estimated 70,000 appointments.
Last month, Britain's largest nursing union warned of a workforce "exodus" with tens of thousands of young staff leaving the profession.
Nearly 43,000 nurses across the UK in the early stages of their careers have quit over the past five years, figures from the Royal College of Nursing showed -- almost equal to the record 47,000 nursing posts now vacant in NHS England, The Guardian reported.