At any cost?

So the government is promising more health care staff, so we can have care, seven days a week.

All well and good,for me though it conjures up the memories of the Blair era. Then the prime minister promised that we will have 150,000 nurses by the end of the year and dispatched teams of recruiters  around the world.

All the hospitals were told to dispatch recruiting teams to the Philippines , India ,Pakistan and some other countries. I know our local hospital went to India and recruited hundreds of nurses and ECG technicians.

It is all good and well if those recruited have proper qualifications.Most of course have, the hospital teams interviewed them,but some certainly didn’t. I remember talking to someone who was the head of nurse education, who said that they have found quite a few who had fake qualifications. It was outrageous, apart from anything else it is dangerous and of course it is criminal to get a job under false pretences.

The recent case of the Filipino nurse illustrates that employing people without proper scrutiny is highly dangerous.There are un answered questions as to whether he was a properly trained nurse or has he purchased fake certificates,which are openly on sale in his country.


I do know that even in India and Pakistan there is a market in fake degrees and certificates. Am not sure what happened to the nurses who were found to be fake,last time around,but I do know that it didn’t get much publicity.

The nursing college in India was affiliated to the then UKCC, the governing body for nurses in this country, and they periodically scrutinised their education system, that ended some time ago and now there is no scrutiny. Still in the rush to fulfil the election promises, the department of health will rush around trying to recruit nurses from abroad.

At present there is an acute shortage of nurses, some agency nurses are paid thousands of pounds for a weekend shift. It all came about because last time when they imported nurses, the locally trained nurses couldn’t  find jobs, so the DoH in their wisdom ,cut the training places drastically. Now that a lot of foriegn nurses,who were brought here on a ten year visa have gone, we don’t have enough of our own to fill the gap.

Talk about short sighted policies!

I do hope that lessons have been learnt(or not), and that we will not be importing nasty specimens like the one above, who has killed so many of his patients,God knows why.

As a nurse of some years I feel desperately sad.






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