2 Dec, 2014 @ 13:18
1 min read

NHS employ Spanish nurses with poor English

SPANISH nurses are being snapped up by the NHS despite not speaking sufficient English.

NHS trusts are ignoring the language barrier to lure nurses from Spain and Portugal with the promise that their salaries will be doubled for doing a third less work.

An increase in the number of recruitment fairs held in Spain and Portugal has lead to nurses being employed with low or non-existent levels of English.

Critics claim the ‘inevitable language barrier’ between staff and patients could have ‘catastrophic consequences’ and will ‘put patients at risk’.

The chief executive of the UK’s Patients Association, Katherine Murphy, said: “The professional qualifications of overseas nurses are not in doubt.

“But there can sometimes be communication difficulties which increases the chances of something going wrong or patients receiving less than optimal care.

“We are wasting precious NHS money on overseas recruitment firms when we should be investing in training more British nurses.”

Dr Peter Carter, of the Royal College of Nursing, added: “By recruiting in a hurry, the NHS is trying to paper over the cracks that formed when the UK was failing to train and retain its own nurses.

“There is no excuse for having nurses arrive on wards without good communication skills and all the clinical skills needed to deliver high levels of care.”

NHS trusts have turned to European countries in recent years to fill the country’s 20,000 full-time posts.

Spain and Portugal have become the most popular destinations where the economic recession has created a huge pool of low-paid and unemployed nurses.

Rob Horgan

DO YOU HAVE NEWS FOR US at Spain’s most popular English newspaper - the Olive Press? Contact us now via email: newsdesk@theolivepress.es or call 951 273 575. To contact the newsdesk out of regular office hours please call +34 665 798 618.


  1. We definitely need to train more nurses in the UK – 20,000 vacancies is crazy when you consider that despite the unemployment rate falling, there are plenty of people still without work who could perhaps re-train.

    These nurses from Spain and Portugal are effectively plugging this skills gap and will probably only want to stay in the UK until their own employment market improves.

  2. Dont worry! the Spanish employment market will not improve..was always an underpayed market with professionals with high skills. Here even they dont have fix jobs in the national health system.

    Learn english will take less time than train an high skilled nurse with excelent soft-skills…

    The problem is that our government (spanish one) is so idiot that is not able to retain this high skilled people after spending millions of euros training them…

    Good for you..bad for us!

  3. U.K. gets the Spanish nurses, Spain gets the U.K. pensioners and forlorn house buyers. Sounds like a fair deal, neither can understand the other. Both scratch their heads, wondering why they did it…

  4. Sad but true as you read recent news that UK hospital patients are: underfed, without help to get water & to toilets, left in bed with their defecations,, mis-diaqnosed, temp Drs. don’t speak English, et al… and patients left to die!SOLUTION: Kick the posh/outoftouch Cameron out as PM next ele3tion, and direct the BILLIONS spent in Aid to Developing Countries back to the UK!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Road deaths increase in Malaga

Next Story

Gibraltar Government announces plans to build 1,500 new homes

Latest from Lead

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press