Nurses say better pay is the key to solving recruitment problems in Sussex.

There are hundreds of vacancies at hospitals across the county, putting extra pressure on existing staff.

Many nurses are choosing to work for agencies or moving into private medicine, where pay and conditions are better.

A recent spot check found a high number of vacancies in accident and emergency departments in the South.

But staff at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton said there were shortages in all departments.

A spokesman for the Royal College of Nursing, who is based at the hospital, said: "As far as most places are concerned, there are shortages everywhere, particularly in specialist areas such as caring for the elderly.

"What most nurses are concerned with is the level of pay. If they are working long hours and are extremely busy, the level of pay should reflect this.

"It is not just about bringing more staff in, it is about making sure they stay on. The best way to do this is to make sure they feel they are paid fairly."