Our international recruitment efforts and commitment to colleague wellbeing has been recognised by a national NHS award.
Launched in March 2022, the NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award is a benchmark for recruitment of international nurses and midwives across England.
Ellie Monkhouse, Chief Nurse, explained: “We’ve recruited more than 300 internationally educated nurses and midwives since 2020. We’re also aiming to recruit 90 more by the end of November this year. One of our priorities is their safe arrival – we meet them at the airport before taking them to their accommodation where they’re provided with a welcome pack including groceries, bedding, toiletries and kitchen wear. We also provide information about the local area, finances, local facilities, travel and general information on living in the UK.
“As most of our colleagues recruited from overseas are highly skilled and experienced healthcare professionals, they start working with us right away while we help them prepare for their exams. We offer a four-week preparation programme for their practical exam (OSCE), a corporate induction, as well as a buddy peer support programme to help them with their integration.”
Results from a recent survey of our internationally educated nurses show 86% of those who took part would recommend us as a place to work.
Evelyn Osobhasekeoso (pictured above right), Staff Nurse, said: “I thought relocating to England would be a daunting journey, but it was a seamless experience thanks to the recruitment team for their excellent engagement and support. I remember seeing Laura and Alison waiting with reassuring smiles at the airport to welcome and check us into a comfortable accommodation. The exams were supposedly another hurdle, again the Training and Development team prepared us, and a 100% pass was achieved. On the ward, the experience is similar. I am surrounded by dynamic team members who are amazing and always eager to support. Indeed, NLaG resonates its values of Kindness, Courage and Respect.”
Achieving the award involves meeting a set of standards for best practice pastoral care, which have been co-developed with regional and Trust international recruitment leads and international nursing and midwifery associations.
By achieving the award, we have demonstrated a commitment to supporting internationally educated nurses and midwives at every stage of our recruitment and beyond.
Peter Ajomiwe, Pre-Registration Nurse, said: “Coming to UK to practice as an internationally trained nurse, I was a bit nervous. Nursing has the same principles, but the way things are done differs. I was assigned to work in on Ward C2 at Grimsby hospital and had a wonderful experience because of the teamwork which really help me to settle in the job. I felt at home. Everyone is treated with respect. There’s no doubt I belong to the NLaG family.”
Other ways we have cared for our colleagues includes connecting them with others who’ve joined us from overseas, arranging travel for their exams, providing a robust guide on working with us, and helping them with practical tasks such as registering with a GP and opening a UK bank account. We have also held afternoon tea events for our international recruits, giving them the opportunity to make new friends and share with us their experience so far.
Ellie concluded: “The NHS has always benefited from overseas recruitment and those we recruit from overseas continue to form an important part of our workforce. Enhanced pastoral support for all colleagues has a positive impact on both recruitment and retention and supports their wellbeing.
“We are delighted to have achieved this award and I’d like to thank everyone involved. This is only possible because of the hard work and dedication of my team and others within the organisation who support this work. We look forward to building on the pastoral care we offer, to ensure those who join us flourish and go on to have a successful career.”
So far, more than 70 Trusts have achieved this award, which is a quarter of the total Trusts in England. Having achieved the award, reassessment will take place every three years.