A group of Indian nurses have arrived in Carlisle to start their new careers working for North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Nine nurses, who arrived in the UK from Kerala in India in December, have been doing their Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) training in Crewe.
They arrived in Cumbria last week and have this week started their induction at the Cumberland Infirmary and are getting familiar with the wards they will be working on which includes Willow, Elm, Beech and Larch. The nine are the first cohort of nurses to arrive from India with plans for over a hundred nurses to be in place by the end of the year.
Anna Stabler, Chief Nurse at NCIC, welcomed the nurses to NCIC. She said: “We are delighted to welcome our first cohort of nurses from India to the Trust, we have put a lot of support in place to ensure they are welcomed and able to settle in the community.”
International recruitment is an option mainly used by employers, like the NHS, trying to fill vacancies in certain geographical areas or professions with recognised skill shortages. International recruitment has been pursued by the Trust as one of the options to address historical staffing issues alongside other local and national routes such as supporting the workforce to train as associate and apprentice nurses.
Amanda Dunkley, head of Workforce Solutions at NCIC, said: “We are always looking at ways in which we can increase nurse numbers. The whole project to bring the nurses to the Trust has been an unbelievable amount of work and I am so pleased to finally see the nurses on their wards today.
“They have arrived in the midst of a pandemic but I am sure they will soon settle in well and make lots of new friends.”
At the end of last year, the Trust appointed Beth Woodhall, Onboarding and Pastoral Support Assistant, to help the nurses settle in.
Beth helps the nurses with shopping, finding accommodation, as well as sorting out their uniforms and IT access.
She said: “All information about living and working in Cumbria is prepared and sent to the nurses as it is needed.
“The main part of my role at this point is liaising between the nurses and our HR and clinical teams to keep them up to date with what is happening and ensure everyone has the information they need. It is really important that the nurses know who I am and how I can help them with their relocation.”
Beth said the main things the nurses need help with is finding suitable accommodation.
She said: “The rental system is all new to them. I offer support in contacting letting agents, viewing properties and working through the lettings procedure. It’s important for the nurses to familiarise themselves with Carlisle and find out how to get about, where to buy food.”