The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, has announced that it has recruited 176 nurses.
The trust has looked to overseas recruitment, through Health Education England’s (HEE) Global Learners programme, to help fill gaps in its substantive nursing and midwifery workforce.
Rhia Boyode, acting workforce director at SaTH, said: “Our teams are working incredibly hard to boost our workforce and we are now planning for an intake of 176 nurses from India to help boost our substantive nursing workforce and reduce the reliance on agency staff.
“The HEE programme was implemented to meet the shortfall of over 270 band five nursing and midwifery vacancies in the trust and these appointments will help to improve the care we give to our patients.
“HEE’s Global Health Exchange is working with healthcare providers globally to improve the quality and volume of the NHS workforce through global education and workplace exchanges.
“Telford & Wrekin Council and Shropshire Council, the community and our other partners have also been fundamental to the success of this project, and we are very grateful for their contributions.
"Whilst we are not yet fully staffed with nurses at PRH or RSH, we do have a number of other campaigns that we are promoting within the trust, and we are also continuing to recruit from within the UK and Ireland, most recently with a campaign in Dublin.”
Barbara Beal, director of nursing and midwifery at SaTH, who led on the recruitment campaign with workforce colleagues, welcomed the news.
She said that the new nurses would be arriving in Shropshire in three cohorts from December.
Barbara said: “This is extremely good news for our patients and our staff, so it is very important that our nurses feel welcome and we are doing everything we can to ensure they feel at home when they arrive.
“Their arrival in cohorts also means that we can ensure that the standards of proficiency, education and training meet our high standards.”
In October last year, Councillor Raj Mehta, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for communities and inclusivity, organised a meeting with the Indian Consul in Birmingham to find out how the trust could recruit more doctors and nurses from India.
Council leader Shaun Davies also contacted the government to highlight issues around visa delays that he was told acted as a barrier to medical staff from India coming to work at hospitals.