Yesterday’s typically slanted Daily Mail lead story, claiming that thousands of nurses were being recruited from abroad despite their allegedly “struggling” with the English language, has been continued today, with the headline thundering “As 4 in 5 new nurses are foreign ... 80,000 UK STUDENTS TOLD: YOU CAN’T TRAIN AS A NURSE”. And, once again, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
What stupid f***er wants to go NHS anyway, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
Once again the Mail pushes this line: “Last month the Mail visited a recruitment fair in Porto, Portugal, where Bedford Hospital hired 25 nurses. They were offered contracts without any formal English tests and some were even given help filling in the application form”. This, not to put too fine a point on it, is bullshit. As I noted yesterday, knowing English is a requirement.
The Mail claimed that nurses from overseas could register as nurses without knowing the language, and this is true, but that does not mean they then walk into a job. As one of my commenters noted, “you need to make sure that you have sufficient knowledge of English in order to practise professionally (article 53 of the directive). Employers will expect this and have the right to require evidence of English language competence to ensure that they employ nurses and midwives who are able to communicate effectively”.
So that’s one way the Mail slants its copy. Another is the idea that 80,000 want to train as nurses, but are being turned away. What the Mail does not tell is what other jobs or training the 80,000 have applied for – it is hardly exceptional for those seeking work to apply for several career options at once.
So the assertion “80,000 UK students told: you can’t train as a nurse” is, as with so many Mail headlines, not supported by the article it headlines. And there is something else that those keen on sums and statistics may have homed in on, and that is that there is a significant difference between the claim of 80,000 wanting to train as nurses, and under 6,000 coming to the NHS from abroad.
Even if all vacant posts could be filled from trainee nurses, that would just mean another 5,800 Brits employed as nurses. So in those circumstances, perhaps the Mail would like to rework its headline to read “74,200 UK STUDENTS TOLD: YOU CAN’T TRAIN AS A NURSE”, only without the ability to claim all the jobs were going to candidates from other EU member states.
But no, all readers are served up is the same bile: “Figures released on Tuesday show that hospitals hired 5,778 foreign nurses last year, up from 1,360 the year before ... There are fears that severe staffing shortages are leading managers to lower the bar for recruits’ English skills”. Get some evidence, Mail people, and just once in your lives stop lying to your readers.