Our Spanish nurses can read the drugs charts

Halstead Gazette: Colchester General Hospital Colchester General Hospital

THE trust running Colchester’s two NHS hospitals has strenuously denied allegations Spanish nursing staff are unable to read drugs charts.

However, it has partnered the Spanish nurses up with staff “buddies” to help them learn the ropes.

A nurse at Essex County Hospital claims the Spanish staff can’t read drugs charts and have to be supervised to administer the medication.

Last month, a recruitment drive was launched to bring 50 Spanish nurses to Colchester.

The trust is already introducing 68 nurses from Madrid after failed attempts to recruit locally.

The woman said: “The trust is recruiting nurses from Spain, most of which have poor English and can’t read the drugs charts and can’t give out the drugs.

“Therefore, we have to have extra staff nurses in to help them.

“They are not allowed to work alone - they are like students.”

A spokesman for Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As with all new staff, the nurses we have recruited from Spain need time to acclimatise to our systems and protocols, which is why they have each been allocated a senior nurse as a ‘buddy’.

“Even though these recruits are all senior nurses, they are treated as newly-qualified nurses and supervised at all times until they can be signed off as having achieved all the necessary competencies.

“The nurses we recruited in Spain had to pass an English examination before we would consider offering them employment.

"Those who had all the qualifications and appropriate clinical skills but whose English was sub-standard were not considered.

“As part of the recruitment process, they had to pass a drugs calculation test and the nurses from Spain performed extremely strongly in this area.

“If the nurse who has contacted the Gazette has any concerns regarding the safety of patients, we would urge this individual to raise their concerns with their ward sister or matron.

“Alternatively, they can also contact the confidential Raising concerns helpline which the trust launched in March in partnership with our staff side union representatives.

“Frankly, we would have thought the nurse will be pleased for patients the trust has taken on additional nurses, regardless of where they come from.”

Comments (5)

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8:39am Sat 14 Sep 13

tomtheDJ says...

long gone has it been only British nationals who were the backbone of the NHS nursing & services, so I agree that vacant posts should be filled by whoever accepts the responcabilities of the job.
If no one from the UK steps up to the plate,
then nurses from abroad should take the challenges ahead and good for them too.
as patients, we are no longer just English are we !!
thankfully I have 2 of the best hospitals in there field both in London looking after me, with Barts having the most philipenos I have ever seen as porters / cleaners and acillary staff, with the Royal Brompton & Harefield also staffed with multinationals.
long gone has it been only British nationals who were the backbone of the NHS nursing & services, so I agree that vacant posts should be filled by whoever accepts the responcabilities of the job. If no one from the UK steps up to the plate, then nurses from abroad should take the challenges ahead and good for them too. as patients, we are no longer just English are we !! thankfully I have 2 of the best hospitals in there field both in London looking after me, with Barts having the most philipenos I have ever seen as porters / cleaners and acillary staff, with the Royal Brompton & Harefield also staffed with multinationals. tomtheDJ

9:06am Sat 14 Sep 13

suzyn says...

It's not so long ago Colchester Hospital interviewed & employed a x-ray cancer specialist, who turned out to be bogus and dangerously inept.
Does anyone trust them to employ accredited & qualified staff with a good grasp of English?
Because I don't.
Now extra nurses to help extra nurses?
Colchester escaped special measures after an enquiry into unacceptable death rates.
Recruiting Spanish nurses proves the hospital has learned nothing, it's problems will continue.
It's not so long ago Colchester Hospital interviewed & employed a x-ray cancer specialist, who turned out to be bogus and dangerously inept. Does anyone trust them to employ accredited & qualified staff with a good grasp of English? Because I don't. Now extra nurses to help extra nurses? Colchester escaped special measures after an enquiry into unacceptable death rates. Recruiting Spanish nurses proves the hospital has learned nothing, it's problems will continue. suzyn

8:27am Sun 15 Sep 13

jut1972 says...

SuzyN - They recruited Spanish nurses because there weren't enough qualified English ones available.

This story sounds like sour grapes on someone's part. Supervising new staff is common sense and the criticism of their English is easily checked. Anyone who goes to the papers before their own organisation to complain should be viewed with suspicion.
SuzyN - They recruited Spanish nurses because there weren't enough qualified English ones available. This story sounds like sour grapes on someone's part. Supervising new staff is common sense and the criticism of their English is easily checked. Anyone who goes to the papers before their own organisation to complain should be viewed with suspicion. jut1972

12:19pm Sun 15 Sep 13

stevedawson says...

Like yes we have full employment.what a state of affairs when there are three million odd unemployed in the country.stable doors spring to mind.
Like yes we have full employment.what a state of affairs when there are three million odd unemployed in the country.stable doors spring to mind. stevedawson

9:51am Thu 26 Sep 13

The Mechanic says...

que
que The Mechanic

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