Overseas nurses shun rural Lincolnshire

Boston's Pilgrim Hospital, Lincoln County Hospital and Grantham Hospital
Image caption United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said it was now considering recruiting staff from Eastern Europe

Foreign nurses recruited to plug staff shortages at Lincolnshire's hospitals are leaving the county because it is is too rural, health bosses have said.

In November 2013, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) hired nurses from Greece, Spain and Portugal to reduce spending on agency staff.

It followed criticism of the trust over its staffing levels.

Bosses said they would now look at recruiting from other areas of Europe and do more to promote the county.

To date, about a third of the 99 foreign nurses brought in have left.

Airport issues

ULHT's Garry Marsh, who was involved in the recruitment process, said he was disappointed.

However, he said: "The important thing is we have met with those nurses and fully understand why they are leaving.

"It's not about the quality of their working experience - it's about the locality of the hospitals."

Mr Marsh said most of the nurses who left worked in Boston and wanted to move closer to airports so they could visit their families more often.

The trust, which is responsible for hospitals in Boston, Lincoln and Grantham, said it was now considering recruiting staff from Eastern Europe, particularly in Boston, where there are a significant number of people from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

It said the move would provide benefits for patients as well as helping nurses integrate better.

It is also looking to recruit more staff from local universities and to do more to promote the county as a place to live and work.

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