MORE than one in three new doctors joining Southend Hospital came from developing countries from which UK recruitment is “banned”.

New figures have revealed a surge in medics joining the NHS from a list of countries the Government says should not be actively recruited from, such as Bangladesh, Georgia and Nigeria.

Of the 115 new doctors who joined Southend Hospital in the 12 months to January, 44 gained their medical qualifications in countries on the restricted list, according to NHS Digital.

The policy is intended to prevent valuable medical staff being poached from their home nations, which often receive foreign aid and may have a shortage of medics.

It does not prevent trusts from considering applications on an individual basis, as long as they are not directly targeted.

On the list, Pakistan provided the most doctors at the Southend Hospital, with 15 training there.

This was followed by Nigeria, with nine doctors, then Egypt, with five.

Cathy O’Driscoll, HR Director at Mid and South Essex hospitals group said: “Southend Hospital does not actively recruit from any countries on the restricted list. Our recruitment processes follow ethical procedures via approved routes, working closely with the East of England supplier hub. As a healthcare provider we always prioritise patient safety and have stringent recruitment controls in place to achieve this.

“For overseas doctors who seek to join us, whether from developing countries or otherwise, we require them to provide evidence of appropriate residency and right to work status in order for us to consider their appointment. Patient safety is our priority; but we also pride ourselves on ethical recruitment.”