HOSPITAL bosses in East Lancashire have admitted there is no ‘plan B’ if they fail to recruit enough permanent doctors and nurses.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, along with most other trusts, has struggled to recruit enough emergency doctors and qualified nurses to fill all the funded posts.

This has caused the trust to rely heavily on expensive temporary staff, with up to £2 million spent monthly.

Non-executive director David Wharfe asked his colleagues at a trust board meeting: “What’s plan B if plan A, of recruitment, doesn’t succeed?

“What are we doing to say come to East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, rather than, say, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals?”

Human resources director Kevin Moynes said he did not know the answer, but said at least 12 other trusts in special measures were in a ‘far worse’ position.

But interim chief executive Jim Birrell said the trust had so far been ‘incredibly successful’ in recruiting more permanent staff.