by Ryan Harrison
SPANISH doctors and nurses are being successfully recruited to fill gaps in the British National Health Service (NHS) following a number of initiatives throughout the UK.

Within the last two years the number of Spanish doctors being transfered to Britain has risen greatly, and has provided a “fantastic” standard of care, a director of a Primary Care Trust (PCT) who has benefited from seven Spanish GPs said yesterday.

Martin Whittle, the Director for the Teaching Primary Care Trust Project in Lincolnshire, said: “We've received seven Spanish GPs in February this year and medically they are great. “The recruitment was organised in conjunction with the Spanish Authorities and the overall operation has been a resounding success on all sides.” Staff from Lincolnshire's three PCTs, Nottingham's medical school and managerial staff travelled to Spain last autumn to confirm the transfer.
Following this, the foreign GPs then had a weekend in Lincolnshire with their families to find properties and local schools.
Martin said: “We were one of the first to go ahead with the project, and our success has been a model for other areas to follow, including Cheshire and Bradford. “Two years ago a government-funded scheme helped to boost interest and research in Lincolnshire, and along with the Spanish doctors new links with the local university have been made.” Seven Spanish GPs now work in Lincolnshire's Primary Care Trusts from regions throughout Spain, including Valencia, Barcelona, Seville and Granada.
Staffing problems in the NHS have been blamed on the lengthy training period for doctors in the UK, which is shorter in Spain.

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