I am a qualified stateenrolled nurse, British born, but did my training in South Africa.

Before returning to the UK I contacted the South African Nursing Council, and was told all I needed to work here was a letter confirming my qualification, which I have.

On arrival I phoned many hospitals with vacancies, but they could not employ me because I did not have a UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting PIN number.

I phoned the UKCC, as did one of the many hospitals I applied to, but it does not recognise my South African qualification. According to the UKCC, I must start my training afresh.

I contacted my local MP - who wrote to the then health secretary, Frank Dobson - and the Royal College of Nursing.

Neither could offer any help.

I have since written to the prime minister, and have yet to receive a positive reply.

I enquired if there was a conversion course that I could do, but once again did not have any luck.

After 13 years of nursing I feel that I do not mind bettering my qualification, but to start afresh is a slap in the face.

One would think that the UK has an abundance of nursing staff, but that is not the case.

Mrs L Neill Didcot Oxfordshire