Thirty nurses have arrived in the UK to begin new nursing careers working for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT).

They have been recruited to increase the number of permanent registered nurses the Trust needs to deliver high quality healthcare to the local population of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, reducing the agency spend often needed when there are vacancies.

Having a multinational workforce is nothing new in the NHS. 16% of nurses and 36% of doctors in England trained outside of the UK. However, this is the first time LPT has undertaken an international recruitment campaign.

The 30 have already completed training in their home countries. They have also passed initial exams including an English language test.

They will carry out six weeks of further training in the UK before having a practical assessment. Once they pass this stage they will be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and will go on work with LPT’s adult physical health teams and wards under the same terms and conditions as all our other nurses.

The nurses come from India, Grenada, Malta and Singapore. Some have substantial healthcare experience. They were recruited following interviews by videoconference.

One of the nurses, Soumya from India, said: “I am overwhelmed by the warm welcome I have got and want to settle here with my family at the earliest opportunity. I assure you that I will definitely recommend LPT to all my colleagues in India.”

Another, called Jensy, added: “LPT has done a tremendous job thus far. Personally, I am very happy to work for LPT.”

The nurses are being given support in adjusting to life in a new country, including help with setting up bank accounts, and initial housing and transport.

Depending on the success of this pilot wave, LPT may carry out further overseas recruitment for registered nurses.

Anne Scott, executive director of nursing, allied health professionals and quality for LPT, welcomed the new recruits.

She said: “I am delighted to welcome our 30 new international nursing recruits, and I hope they have long and rewarding careers with us here at LPT.

“We have carried out our international recruitment ethically. We have targeted countries which have a tradition of training more nurses than they require.

“These countries realise that nurses who move to richer countries will usually send money home to relatives. Any staff who return to their home countries later in their careers will bring valuable experiences with them.

“These additional 30 nurses will enable us to increase the size of our substantive nursing workforce and reduce our agency staffing costs. It should also have a positive impact on continuity of care and patient satisfaction.

“We are still seeking to recruit locally trained nurses. For anyone considering their career options, nursing is a great choice with huge opportunities and tremendous job satisfaction.”

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