A TOTAL of 19 Spanish nurses arrived at Southend University Hospital this week to help ease pressure, and plug a shortage of staff.
The new national quota meant each nurse could only treat a maximum of eight patients, which forced the hospital to close 12 beds across the trust last April.
The board of Southend University Hospital had reached an agreement to recruit 120 nurses last year.
A trust spokeswoman said: “This staggered approach allowing for settling in and ensuring the Spanish staff have the best support possible, which benefits them, the hospital and patients.” He added: “They will be given a warm welcome by everyone and we hope they enjoy this opportunity, the hospital is still very much committed to recruiting UK nurses as well.”
Teresa Garcia,24, from Valladolid explained her decision to work in Southend: “In Spain the same job opportunities as a nurse just aren’t there and being here in Southend allows us to really develop and grow as professionals. It’s also a great opportunity culturally, being so close to London.”
The next group is expected to arrive for induction in August, followed by a further group in September.