NHS bosses are recruiting nurses from Spain to plug staffing shortages at the district’s hospitals.
Sixty Spanish nurses will be employed by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, which runs Pontefract, Pinderfields and Dewsbury hospitals, under a £1.2m recruitment drive.
The move was announced after Gate 43, an elderly ward at Pinderfields, was temporarily closed because of low staffing levels and poor standards of care.
David Melia, the trust’s interim deputy chief nurse, said nurses were also being recruited locally.
He said: “We want to hear from anyone who’s interested in working for us as a nurse, midwife or healthcare assistant.
“As part of our campaign we’re looking to recruit 60 nurses from Spain over the next six months.
“This is to support our domestic recruitment plan to ensure that we have a safe and sustainable nurse-to-patient ratio on our hospital wards.
“We are excited by the opportunities for recruiting nurses from the UK and Spain and I’m sure colleagues across the Trust will give a warm and supportive welcome.
“All new recruits will go through a full and rigorous selection process that tests both the professional and clinical skills of the applicants as well as their communication skills.”
A survey published by the Care Quality Commission earlier this month found that Mid Yorkshire was among the worst NHS trusts in the country for patients feeling there were enough nurses on duty.