There are more than 150 vacancies for nurses and midwives at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust.
The trust, which runs Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Clifton Hospital in St Annes, has recruited internationally in a bid to fill nine vacant midwife posts and 146 vacant nursing roles.
It comes amid a national shortage, and after a survey showed more nurses and midwives are leaving the profession than joining.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) study found the number of departures has risen by 51 per cent in four years.
Marie Thompson, director or nursing and quality at the trust, said: “The trust has a strong record in recruiting high calibre registered midwives and registered nurses to the trust, but unfortunately there are not enough nurses in the system to meet supply and demand. We have recruited internationally to maintain our safe staffing levels.”
At full capacity, the trust would have 107 registered midwives, and 2,106 nurses.
To cover gaps, existing staff are asked to work more shifts through a bank, or bench, system, while agency nurses are used as a ‘last resort’, a spokeswoman said. To bring in new recruits, the trust holds recruitment events and advertises widely. It also works with universities and hires from abroad. In March, 80 Filipino nurses were signed up to work at the Victoria Hospital.
Despite this, bosses remain concerned they will fail to reduce staff vacancies to 2.5 per cent by 2021 because of ‘higher than expected levels of vacant roles’, documents showed earlier this year.
At the time, there were 182 vacant nursing and midwifery positions, and 54 empty doctor and dentist roles.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN)’s chief executive and general secretary Janet Davies said the NMC’s survey results were ‘the starkest warning yet that nurses have put up with too much for fair too long’.
She added: “Our members have had enough and as a result the profession is sinking. With more people leaving than joining, the NHS will be further than ever from filling the 40,000 vacant nurse jobs in England alone.”
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “We are making sure we have the nurses we need to continue delivering world-class patient care - that’s why there are almost 13,100 more on our wards since May 2010 and 52,000 in training. We’ve launched a national programme to ensure nurses have the support they need to continue vital work.”