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More than 30 extra nurses from India could join Shropshire's A&Es

By Lisa O'Brien | Shrewsbury | Health | Published:

More than 30 extra nurses from India could be working in Shropshire A&Es by April, under a new pilot scheme.

The second cohort of nurses from India

A private Indian company has been introduced to The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) which is offering fully trained nurses.

The trust, which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, intends to conduct a pilot with the company to bring up to 36 nurses, with the majority being placed within the two emergency departments due to their extensive clinical experience.

The move would help fill the nursing vacancy gap, reducing the need for temporary staffing.

It comes as the trust has welcomed its first two cohorts of nurses from India.

It was announced in October that 176 nurses from overseas would be joining the trust and they will be gradually arriving throughout this year.

A report SaTH's board, which met on Thursday, said: "Over recent times, SaTH has struggled to recruit to registered nursing vacancies resulting in low staff morale, difficulties in retention and the inability to fill vacancies via UK recruitment.

"This has resulted in an increased rate of bank and agency spends over the last three years; there is close to a 50 per cent increase in temporary staffing requests and agency fill.

"The trust needs to ensure that the pipeline of staff is sustainable to meet ongoing requirements and in line with the increase in bed-base as outlined in the operational plan."

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The first cohort of nurses from India

Under the pilot scheme, up to 36 extra nurses from India would join SaTH from April at the earliest.

The report says: "The current proposal that has been accepted in principle by the executive team is to accept a pilot of 36 nurses who are OSCE ready and who have a minimum of 12-18 months experience in medicine, critical care or emergency care.

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"Skype interviews have been held during the week of January 6, 2020.

"The calibre of nurses interviewed has been encouraging.

"Of the 37 nurses interviewed, 36 are suitable to be offered. 32 of these nurses have the relevant experience and skills to work within the emergency departments at the two hospital sites.

"Two of the 32 emergency department ready nurses are also paediatric trained."

Accent trainers from the UK have been hired so that the nurses being trained are equipped with a proper understanding of the spoken English language.

A business case for the plan is currently being finalised.

Barbara Beal, interim director of nursing at SaTH, said it was "really critical" to look after these nurses and that they are "highly, highly skilled".

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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