WORKFORCE: Staff at the east London hospital trust complained to managers that midwives recruited in Ireland and Italy had left shortly after being brought “up to standard”.

The minutes of the last board meeting at the trust reported the director of operations and chair had been told on a walk-around that “staff raised the
recruitment of midwives from Ireland and Italy and the fact that the trust had taken them through the process to get them up to standard and then fairly shortly after that, they had left and it seemed to be a source of concern and the question was raised as to what could be done to address this.”

When the matter was raised at the November board director of nursing Deborah Wheeler said only three midwives had returned home to Ireland but that “the trust was looking at the agency terms and changing them from three months at present to six months.”

It reported the vacancy rate was currently 8 per cent, which included 21 midwives who had received job offers.