United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust looks for new nurses

Image caption The trust admitted bringing nurses into Lincolnshire was difficult

A recruitment drive has begun to find nurses to fill 100 new vacancies at hospitals in Lincolnshire.

On Friday it was announced United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) was being taken out of special measures after more than 18 months.

One of the main areas originally highlighted by inspectors was staffing shortages.

Bosses admitted recruitment was a challenge but said nurses were the "backbone" of the hospitals.

ULHT, which runs Lincoln County, Grantham District and Boston Pilgrim hospitals, was one of 11 trusts in England placed in special measures in July 2013.

Image caption United Lincolnshire Hospitals: Boston's Pilgrim Hospital, Lincoln County Hospital and Grantham Hospital

The trust was criticised for a lack of hospital staff, its patient care and 12 "never events" - or serious errors that should never have happened - occurring over three years.

The open day at Lincoln County Hospital is targeting registered nurses, allied health professionals and people looking to return to nursing, as well as people looking to adapt qualifications gained abroad.

Jane Lewington, ULHT chief executive said: "We have put about £6m into nursing over the past two-and-a-half years but we have struggled to recruit.

"Part of the issue is that nationally, many hospitals are reviewing nursing numbers, many are recruiting, so we are all fishing in the same pond.

"But they are the backbone of the hospital and a vital part of the team."

Sarah Fletcher, from patients group Healthwatch Lincolnshire, said: "Getting nursing numbers right is so important as it links to patient safety.

"But the trust needs people right across the board, particularly specialists like radiographers."

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