A TEAM of clinicians will travel to India and Dubai this week in a bid to recruit up to 20 new A&E doctors for Shropshire's acute hospitals.

The group of four medical staff will interview candidates during the six-day trip for positions in the emergency departments at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH).

It is hoped that they will be able to recruit substantive middle grade doctors and consultants to help fill the vacancies in the emergency departments

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) is working with a specialist recruitment company which has helped other trusts in the UK secure clinical staff from overseas, and it will be the first time that the trust has sent staff to Dubai and India to interview and recruit staff.

Dr Jenni Rowlands, director of postgraduate education at SaTH, is part of the team travelling to Dubai and India.

She said: “This is the first time that we have been overseas to recruit like this. We are hoping that the trip will be a successful one for the trust, and that we will be able to make job offers whilst we are there.”

Simon Wright, chief executive at SaTH, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for us to be able to recruit the staff that we need to what is still a very fragile service.

“Whilst we managed to recruit enough middle grade doctors to keep the A&E at PRH open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week at the end last year, they were a mixture of locum and agency staff. We are still considerably short of the substantive staff that we need to support our current teams.

“We have not stopped working behind-the-scenes to recruit to our EDs and we are leaving no stone unturned. We are hoping that this trip to India and Dubai will give us a real chance of securing staff into those substantive roles.

“With the reconfiguration of our hospitals now a reality, as well as all the efforts that are ongoing to make the trust an attractive place to work, we hope that this will further help our ability to recruit the ED doctors that we need to work in our trust for the benefit of our patients.”

The trust’s EDs have seven substantive consultants, two locum consultants with another due to join next month; and 14 substantive middle grade doctors and 10 locum middle grade doctors.