AN extra £1.5 million has been found to add 31 more nurses and healthcare assistants to the payroll of Colchester Hospitals Trust.

Eight more paediatric nurses, 10 new recruits on the Stroke Unit and a further 10 Accident & Emergency department nurses will be hired.

A further three “guardians of quality” - a new role to be filled by people who will lead nursing across Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital - will join them.

The new roles will be in addition to ensuring nurses who leave the trust are promptly replaced.

Last year, the trust added an extra 138 nurses and healthcare assistants to its payroll, and recruited 118 from Spain.

Dee Hackett, director of nursing and patient experience, said recruitment had already begun.

She said: “The trust has been increasing its nursing workforce for about the past 12 months as a result of ongoing work to assess the needs of our patients.

“This work will continue, and we will soon be turning our attention to other parts of the Trust, such as the critical care department, theatres and outpatients.”