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25 new nurses from overseas joined colleagues delivering care at Stepping Hill Hospital at the end of 2021.
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital and community healthcare services in the borough, has made a commitment to recruit a further 110 nurses during the new year of 2022.
The nurses are helping to deliver patient care during the current challenge caused by high vacancy numbers, increasing COVID-19 patient numbers, and the other pressures which the NHS faces during winter. They are helping provide high quality care for patients during an increasingly busy period.
The majority of new recruits are from India, but other countries have provided new colleagues too, including Nigeria and Zimbabwe. 2020 and 2021 also saw a boost of new international nursing recruits, with 141 new colleagues joining during this period, from countries including Hong Kong, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Nepal.
The trust has been assisted by the NHS Professionals organisation, who arrange advertising, interviews, visas and flights for the new recruits.
The nurses are joining to work permanently, rather than as bank or agency staff, and are caring for patients in areas across the hospital, including in surgery, medicine and urgent care. Having permanent members of staff ensures better continuity of patient care, and also works as better value spending for the NHS.
Communication is crucial in patient care, and so before the nurses arrive in the UK they have studied and passed an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examination to show their efficiency in English. They also attend a comprehensive training course in preparation for their OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) to ensure high standards of clinical skills.
Once working they receive expert support and tuition from the clinical trainers in the trust’s learning and development department, as well as the wider support network of their new colleagues. This ensures they are prepared for their new role in the NHS.
Stepping Hill Hospital is a popular choice for nurses and their families as it is located in a residential area which is very accessible to housing, has excellent schools, good transport links, and the combination of being near both Manchester on the one side, and the Peak District on the other.
Nic Firth, Chief Nurse for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust said:
“International nurses have always been a vital part of our workforce, and recent recruits from India and elsewhere in the past two years have helped us continue to provide the best possible standards of care we can through challenging times. We are delighted to welcome these nurses on board as they become part of the Stockport family.”