Predominately from India, the first cohort of Registered Nurses sat their Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) in Northampton on 18 October, and the second group on 8 November. These exams allow the newly recruited nurses to practice within the United Kingdom and, upon receiving passing grades, these individuals will be placed within a variety of a clinical settings at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
Like much of the NHS, the Trust has benefited from overseas recruitment in the past to fill a variety of roles across all three of its hospital sites in Doncaster, Worksop and Mexborough. Recent data released has shown that there are around 38,000 full-time equivalent vacancies across the NHS in England for Registered Nurses, and despite innovative education programmes and other initiatives to fill vacancies locally, hospitals often need to look further afield.
Between September 2021 and January 2022, the Trust will have recruited 50 additional nurses, looking beyond the UK, to complement its workforce in theatres, medicine, and surgery. They will be placed specifically into areas based on their skills and training, and will be supported as they settle into life in South Yorkshire.
Kirsty Clarke, Divisional Director of Nursing for Surgery, said: “Recruitment from outside the United Kingdom continues to form part of the long-term nursing strategy nationally and locally at Doncaster and Bassetlaw. This compliments the continued training and development of new and experienced nurses across the UK. This multi-faceted approach to registered nurse recruitment enables us to develop staff as well as allowing us to continue to recruit newly qualified and experienced nurses, particularly in areas that have proved hard to fill.
“Currently there is a gap in the nursing workforce and nurses that work abroad have significant skills and knowledge that they can bring to bear in this country. In return for this expertise, we want to support them every step of the way – ensuring they receive a proper Doncaster and Bassetlaw welcome, and wishing them a very happy and long career within the NHS.”
The Trust was aided in its overseas recruitment as part of a pilot scheme overseen by NHS professionals. The agency source candidates internationally, interviewing suitable applicants and, working with relevant recruitment teams, ensures they are placed in hospitals throughout the country.
Neena Susan, who is part of the new cohort of international nurses, spoke about her experience moving from India to Doncaster, she said: “When I came here, I thought it would be a struggle for me because it is a new place, new culture, and a new group of people. Everything is different from what my experiences were. But when I reached here I was incredibly comfortable.
“All the staff who are working with me in Gresley Unit are absolutely fantastic. They help me so much because they know how different this could be to working in India, and they make sure that I always have a helping hand if I need it. I am so happy and proud to be a part of Team DBTH.”
The Trust will continue to recruit internationally beyond 2022 as part of their long-term plan.
Kirsty finished by saying: “We want to make sure that we support the international nurses to stay and thrive at DBTH. They come as a staff nurse with a variety of nursing experience already, but we want to ensure they have the same opportunities as others to continue to develop within the NHS and progress across a variety of nursing career opportunities”.