“If a nursing home can get pizza delivered in the middle of the night, it should be able to get an emergency cover nurse too,’ says Penny Streeter, who co-founded Ambition Recruitment with her mother Marion Hewson in 1996. Ambition says it places several thousand nurses each week in NHS hospitals, public and private nursing homes, and even prisons. The London company specialises in providing emergency, or ‘spot’ cover – for example, when a nurse calls in sick. It also offers to train its workers as care assistants, which can be a stepping-stone to a nursing career. Its sales have risen by nearly 131% a year from £4.3m in 1999 to £52.6m in 2002.
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