At the start of August, Isle of Wight NHS Trust welcomed an initial group of registered nurses from the island nation in the Pacific to join the nursing team at its St Mary’s Hospital.
“A shortage of qualified nurses is not something that is unique to the island”
The trust noted that it had “struggled” to recruit enough registered nurses to fill vacancies and had had to “look further afield to places like the Philippines to recruit skilled and experienced nurses”.
It said it had been working with an international healthcare recruitment agency, Drake Medox, for the past four years to attract nurses from the country to boost staff numbers on its wards.
A trip to the Philippines, which is well-known for supplying nurses to the rest of the world, during January and again in May this year has led to the successful appointment of 66 registered nurses who will be arriving to the Island over the next eight months, said the trust.
Alice Webster, the trust’s director of nursing, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome more qualified nurses to join us.
Isle of Wight nurses from the Philippines
Source: Isle of Wight NHS Trust
“A shortage of qualified nurses is not something that is unique to the island and we have been looking at different ways to recruit more nurses from growing our own newly qualified nurses to looking to international recruitment to bring more staff to our hospital wards.
“Overseas recruitment has been such a success in the past that it made sense for us to return to the Philippines again this year and shows our commitment to increasing the number of nurses on the island,” she said.
Donna Parkinson, the trust’s head of practice education and development, highlighted that it was important for the Filipino nurses to “feel welcome when they arrive”.
“Many are leaving behind family and friends and it can feel overwhelming for them, so we make sure we do all we can to ensure they have everything they need for when they arrive from transport and accommodation to support with their transition to nursing practice in the UK and more specifically on the island.
“We now have a well-established Filipino community who planned a lovely welcome for them and are helping them to settle in to Island life,” she added.