Nurses from Europe and further afield have been recruited to boost numbers after concerns over hospital staff shortages were highlighted by the health watchdog.
West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans hospitals, has taken on 76 foreign nurses.
Chief nurse Tracey Carter said: “I am really happy to have these new recruits on board.
“The nurses are committed and dedicated to helping us achieve our aim of delivering the best possible care to every patient who walks through our doors. I am looking forward to watching them develop their careers at our hospitals”.
They join the 56 newly qualified nurses that have been recently recruited by the trust.
In September, the Care Quality Commission placed the organisation in ‘special measures’ after serious concerns were raised about insufficient staffing, ageing equipment and buildings, risk management and waiting times.
Both Watford General and St Albans hospitals were graded as inadequate, while Hemel Hempstead was given a ‘requires improvement’ rating.
The nurses from abroad have come from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Finland, Romania and Poland and are part of the trust’s first phase of overseas recruitment
They have been through an extended induction and are now on wards across the three hospital sites.
Inspectors from the commission visited in November and April and trust bosses have assured that improvements have already been made.
While the overall report was disappointing, the care provided by staff in the children’s emergency department was rated outstanding and the dementia team was praised for their recovery programme, which helps patients return home early with support, rather than moving to a care home.