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OUH nominated for workforce award


Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's International Nurses Programme is in the running for a national award recognising innovative workforce planning.

More than 100 new recruits from across the world have joined the Trust since the international nurses recruitment campaign was launched in January 2018.

The team behind the project has been shortlisted for the Best International Recruitment Experience award at the second Nursing Times Workforce Awards in September (2019).

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at the Trust, said: "Recruiting highly skilled nurses means we are able to deliver safe, high quality patient care. International nurses are warmly welcomed to join our teams, and provide an invaluable service to the NHS and our patients.

"We are very proud of how quickly they have adapted to working in the NHS and have passed the registration process to work in the UK.

"To be nominated for the Best International Recruitment Experience is fantastic, and a testament to the hard work the Trust has put into finding the right people to provide the best possible care to our patients.

"We understand the recruitment pressure we as a Trust - and other Trusts - are facing, and we are so proud that our overseas recruitment programme has been recognised in this way at the Nursing Times Workforce Awards."

The awards aim to highlight and reward innovation in workforce planning and management that will contribute to a sustainable workforce fit for the future.

The Trust has been recognised for a project that adopts a three-pronged approach to overseas recruitment and retention.

This includes:

  • initial overseas and other recruitment campaigns to attract staff to work at OUH
  • development of a dedicated overseas nurses programme team and development of an intensive education programme
  • an ongoing support programme and international nurse events to enable new staff to settle into OUH.

Our recruitment teams have visited India three times and the Philippines once. We also carry out Skype interviews to the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean and the USA.

The Trust is carrying out the staffing initiative to recruit international nurses to join our nursing teams across all four hospital sites.

An integral part of the Trust's recruitment strategy, the scheme has resulted in more than 100 new NMC registered nurses working for the Trust.

Fifteen new overseas nurses are expected to join our growing team each month, a rate which is expected to continue through 2019/20.

In addition, the Surgery, Women's and Oncology Division plans to recruit 40 surgery nurses from the US during same time period.

One of those to join the Trust is Curtina Stapleton, from St Lucia in the Caribbean, who started work at the Women's Centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital in August 2018.

She said: "This programme was my gateway to endless possibilities in nursing in the UK.

"I came into this with an open mind, and my team's knowledge, dedication, patience and understanding of our needs has been nothing short of amazing.

"Every day there has been cheerful faces, motivating words and unrelenting teaching and practice. For their help I am forever grateful.

"My experience at OUH so far has been a journey. I have overcome many challenges with the support of friendly, caring staff and colleagues."

The overseas initiative, which acknowledges the known national shortage of nurses in the UK, is already introducing diversity, new ideas, and stability within our nursing workforce.

As a Trust, we ensure that we adhere to clear rules around international recruitment. We operate within the World Health Organization's Code of Practice on ethical international recruitment, and work solely with agencies that follow a code of conduct with a commitment to not carry out recruitment activities that could disadvantage the healthcare systems of developing countries.

International recruitment is just one part of our recruitment and retention strategy, alongside our relationship with Oxford Brookes University for newly qualified nurses, as well as our apprenticeships, recruitment campaigns and events, and 'retire and return' scheme.

Andrew Carter, Director of Nursing for Workforce at the Trust and leader of the overseas recruitment project, said: "It has been a privilege to lead this recruitment project, and to see so many of our overseas recruits thrive across our hospital.

"We are continually trying to attract and recruit nurses within the UK. However, due to the shortage of registered nurses nationally compared with the number of current vacancies in the NHS, we need to supplement our staff with the recruitment of nurses from overseas.

"As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, Trusts are recommended to consider international recruitment in co-ordination in the recruitment of staff domestically."

A new cohort of international nurses was welcomed to the Trust by Dr Bruno Holthof, the Trust's Chief Executive Officer, at a meet-and-greet event in January 2019.

The Trust is up against seven others in the Best International Recruitment Experience category. Winners will be announced at The Brewery, London, on Wednesday 25 September 2019.

Feeling at home here - International Nurses video