File picture – Dr Keith McNeil Chief executive of Cambridge University Hospitals at Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge. See Masons story MNNURSES; The head of a major NHS hospital which recruited more than 300 foreign nurses in the last year has described the situation as “distracting, frustrating and expensive”. Hospitals are having to recruit foreign nurses to meet staffing demand despite tens of thousands of applications from would-be UK nurses being rejected last year. Around 7,500 nurses from countries across Europe including Spain, Romania and Italy were recruited in the UK last year. The number of non-European nurses coming to work in the UK has dropped over the last six years, but the number from Europe has been on the increase.