A RECRUITMENT drive for hospital nurses is being launched on Teesside this week.

Coordinator Anne Sutcliffe has been appointed to oversee the drive, which wants to hear from anyone interested in working for the NHS.

The move by South Tees Acute Hospitals NHS is in response to the Government's plan to have 20,000 more nurses, 7,500 consultants and 6,500 therapists by the year 2004.

"We are launching a local recruitment advertising campaign for nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, radiographers and dieticians this week,'' said Anne.

"We're always keen to recruit extra staff, particularly at this time of year with the inevitable winter pressures placed on the health service."

She said: "Like every other trust in the country, we do have vacancies, but we are also fortunate because we have a good retention rate.

"We want to hear from anyone interested in working for the NHS locally. Even if they are available for just a limited number of hours per week, or having caring commitments which prevent regular working, we will try our best to accommodate them.''