Nursing numbers at Stepping Hill Hospital have recently received a boost with a group of 10 nurses from India and Nepal joining the workforce.
The Indian and Nepalese nurses are helping to support the hospital as it meets the challenge of the large numbers of COVID-19 admissions it currently faces. On arrival to the UK the nurses follow strict government regulations by completing the required period of quarantine before they start work.
The new recruits are working full-time for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital and community NHS services, rather than bank or agency staff. They are working in clinical areas across the hospital including surgery, medicine and urgent care. Having full-time members of staff ensures better continuity of patient care.
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 due to the importance of communication in caring for patients. They also attend a four day comprehensive training course in preparation for their OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) to ensure that their clinical skills are of the highest standard. In addition they receive expert support and tuition from the clinical trainers in the trust’s learning and development department. This all ensures that they are prepared for their transition into the NHS.
Since January 2020 41 international nurses have joined the trust, with India being the top country for recruitment. Around 9% of the trust’s overall staff are from overseas, and after India other top countries for recruitment include Ireland, Nigeria, Spain, Italy, Poland and many others. Stepping Hill Hospital is particularly appealing to the 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 located next to both Stockport and the countryside.
Nic Firth, Chief Nurse for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust said “International nurses form a vital and valued part of our workforce. Nurses from India have long been a really important part of our team, and there is a huge sense of community and support. Some of these new recruits are joining family and friends who have really enjoyed their experience here at Stepping Hill Hospital. We welcome all our new recruits on board as they help us to provide the best possible standards of care in both the hospital and the community.”