The international recruitment team at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust has been honoured with the Pastoral Care Quality Award for its commitment, compassion and support to the recruitment of nurses and midwives from outside of the UK.
Netce Sia, Senior Practice Educator, who moved from the Philippines in 2002 to work at UHSussex, speaks about what this award means to her and her colleagues.
She said: “We feel incredibly honoured to have been recognised with this prestigious award from NHS England. We are truly grateful as it is a testament of the hard work, dedication and commitment from the whole international recruitment team.”
“Having once been in the shoes of our international nurses, I take immense pride in the selfless commitment our team displays daily to ensure our globally recruited nurses and midwives feel supported.”
When our nurses and midwives arrive in the UK, the team offer a wide-ranging induction, which includes knowledge of the local areas, airport transfers, accommodation and 24/7 contact time.
They make significant efforts to ensure their new colleagues feel welcome, making sure their needs are met, including finding places of worship, and registering at GPs.
The dedication from the team doesn’t stop at recruitment, the team strive for a sense of community where the new recruits feel comfortable and safe.
Netce talks about understanding the unique challenges they face when arriving to the UK. She said: “For most new nurses and midwives this is their first time in the UK, and they are unsure on what to expect. Our team gives advice and support, including kindly gifted essentials such as clothes from the Trust charity ‘My University Hospitals Sussex’.
“We hope our support helps them to comfortably settle into their new surroundings, which is really important as most of them will have no friends or family in the country when they arrive. We try to be a helping hand and listening ear if needed.”
“This award has further strengthened our passion to consistently strive to provide the best support and care for our internationally recruited colleagues.”
Fiona Keeling, Head of Nursing International Recruitment at UHSussex added:
“We are honoured and delighted our commitment and dedication to our international nurses and midwives have been recognised with this award.”
“We have had an international programme in place since 2015, supporting nurses and midwives from interview to progression through their careers. We have a dedicated team in place, some of whom have gone through the process themselves. Since October 2020, more than 1,000 nurses have arrived in the Trust.”
The Pastoral Care Quality Award is an opportunity for trusts to have their work recognised and to demonstrate their commitment to supporting internationally educated nurses and midwives at every stage of recruitment and beyond.