Birmingham care company Claimar has begun taking on Polish care staff as it seeks to tackle "challenging" recruitment problems in the homecare sector.
The revelation came as Claimar reported a 59 per cent leap in its maiden interim results yesterday and announced further expansion in the north west.
Four Polish workers have been recruited to work in the Kidderminster office of the Edgbaston firm, which provides care services for the elderly in the Midlands and Lancashire.
But plans are afoot for 30 more in the coming months as Claimar admitted that recruitment in the UK of quality care staff to meet local authority demand was proving difficult.
During the period it invested "substantially" in a recruitment programme which included its first radio advertising. Chief executive Mark Hales said: "There is a lack of capacity in the UK for trained care workers.
"If we could get 100 trained workers by the end of the week, we would have space for them, but there just aren't.
"We see taking on the Polish workers as another tool in the box to deal with the recruitment problems."
Claimar, which was founded by husband and wife team Jim and Birdie Ceaser in 1994, was valued at £16.1 million when it floated on AIM in January.
In the six months to March 31 pretax profits rose to £350,000 from £220,000 while turnover increased by 68 per cent to £5.97 million from £3.8 million.
Meanwhile the firm also announced its second acquisition since the float, with a £ 310,000 deal to buy Cheshire-based Medgal Care.
A cash payment of £280,000 will be made for the business, with the remainder paid in the next year subject to future operational criteria.
Medgal Care is a domiciliary care provider based in Dukinfield, Cheshire, which currently has 48 care workers.
In the ten months to the end of March, Medgal made a pretax loss of £56,240 on turnover of £500,474, although this included a number of exceptional, non-recurring costs and was now trading profitably, Claimar said.
Mr Hales said: "The directors believe that this acquisition will strengthen further our presence in the North West and will help create additional opportunities for expansion into key new local authorities."
The company, which bought Walsall Homecare in March for £200,000, said its acquisitive spree was far from over.
Mr Hales said: "We have been in negotiation with 11 companies, and are still in talks with four of those."
During the six months it also won contracts in Kidderminster, Coventry and Leeds while it completed the integration of earlier purchases Abbeydale Homecare and Ribble Valley Care, both in Lancashire.
Organic growth also continued apace, with two new branches opened in Kidderminster and Coventry as a result of new contract wins and a new office in Sandwell to service existing contracts with Sandwell Council and Dudley Council.
The firm's 19th was opened in April 2006 in Leeds, in response to another new contract win and Claimar is now delivering 23,500 care hours per week from 19 branches and employing over 850 care staff.
Chairman John Crabtree said: "Claimar has performed strongly in the period, growing its existing contracts, winning new contracts and making earnings enhancing acquisitions demonstrating its ability to act as a consolidator within its market.
"The short and long term outlook for the group is positive."