WORKFORCE: Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust is planning to recruit nurses from Portugal amid staffing shortages and an over-reliance on temporary staff.

Board papers for July said that half of all spend on temporary nurses was to cover vacancies. A quarter was due to increasing workload.

The trust is now working on how it will cut its turnover rate among nursing staff.

The papers said: “We are recruiting from Portugal for band five nursing posts and continue to look at what other innovative options are available to us to attract staff to hard to fill posts as well as newly qualified staff and experienced band six nurses.”

Spend on nursing temporary staff fell in June to £895,000, from £973,000 in May.

The trust’s workforce cost improvement plan was reported to have delivered a 45.73 whole time equivalent reduction, against a target of 54.05.