Welsh hospital recruits 107 new nurses from India

time:2023-06-03 22:59:14 source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation)

A Welsh health board has recruited 107 new nurses through its first recruitment event in India.

Swansea Bay University Health Board held the event in the southern city of Kochi to help fill a shortage of Band Five nurses in its Morriston Hospital.

The new recruits are a mixture of medical, surgical and theatre nurses, some with 15 years' experience.

They arrive during February and will start their new roles in April, after a four-week training programme.

Swansea Bay University Health Board said the shortage of Band Five nurses - who are effectively newly qualified - is UK-wide, due to people retiring, or leaving their roles to take up a new career.

The health board is providing the nurses with accommodation for up to three months, until they find their own rental properties with local landlords.

A total of 119 nurses were interviewed over four days, by a team led by Lynne Jones, head of nursing education and recruitment.

She said: "As part of the overseas nursing recruitment campaign, we decided to hold a face-to-face event which is something we were unable to do during the height of the pandemic.

"The trip allowed us to find out a bit more about the candidates and have a more personal insight, and we found quality candidates with a range of experience from one to 15 years' experience."

The board is currently employing approximately 32 international nurses every five weeks.

Ms Jones said: "The gap of Band Five nurses is closing, so we are making progress. It's an issue being felt around the UK.

"Our sources of Band Five nurses are our student nurses and the regular recruitment of overseas nurses."

The health board said it will consider a return visit to India in the new few months, having held similar recruitment events in the Philippines in recent years.

It said the decision to recruit from India was based on the country's high number of quality nurses.

"We need overseas nurses here, while for them it's an opportunity to develop their skills further and experience a different lifestyle," said Ms Jones.

"In countries such as India there are a surplus of trained nurses. Ethically, we can recruit from these countries as they are not being left short of quality nurses.

"Often, the nurses we interview have only been given 12-month contracts in their home countries, so they are also looking at more long-term commitments, which we can offer."

Ms Jones added that there are countries "on the red list" that the health board does not recruit from as they are short of nurses.

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