A HEALTH trust is crying out for nurses and is now looking to Spain for staff.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust has 45 vacancies for nurses.
Bosses at the trust are in the process of interviewing for 15 nursing positions, which will take the shortfall down to 30.
But due to a lack of qualified nurses in the UK, the organisation is taking its recruitment drive to Spain to fill the spare positions.
A spokeswoman for the trust told the Mail: “There are 45 vacancies at the minute, but we are constantly doing recruitment campaigns.
“We are interviewing for 15 nursing places this week, which will take the vacancies from 45 down to 30.”
She added: “We are going to be looking to Spain for more nurses. We look to other countries, as do a lot of trusts.
“There’s always a turnover in nursing, with people retiring, or moving on, because we have more than 1,300 nurses.
“So we have to go and fill the gap and we did a few years ago with nurses from the Philippines.
“If you know there’s not enough nurses in the system being trained, then you’ve got to do something in the meantime.”
There are 1,344 full-time nursing positions within a the trust.