Jamaican nurse exchange pilot gets started in Leeds

The “global learning practitioners” will undertake a bespoke critical care programme at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust over five months and will be evaluated against a framework of nationally recognised competencies.

“This project gives us a real opportunity to contribute to the improvement of healthcare delivery worldwide”

Lisa Grant 

The aim is to equip the nurses with new critical care skills to take back home to help improve practice there and eventually allowing the island to open up more critical care beds.

It is part of a pilot project between Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Health Education England and the Jamaican Ministry of Health, which aspires to create a long-lasting reciprocal relationship between the UK and Jamaica.

Healthcare workers from the UK are expected to travel to Jamaica in the future.

Lisa Grant, chief nurse at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “We are extremely proud to be part of this partnership that brings with it fantastic benefits both to us as a trust but more importantly, to the Jamaican health system.

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“This project gives us a real opportunity to contribute to the improvement of healthcare delivery worldwide, and we are really excited to work with the team and see how far this partnership can take us.” 

As part of the official launch of the programme the trust welcomed the chief nursing officer of Jamaica, Patricia Ingram-Martin, the island’s critical care programme co-ordinator, Nadine McFarlane-Stewart, and head of the global nursing programme at HEE, Tracey Collins.

Ms Collins said: “We welcome the Jamaican nurses who have arrived in the UK to begin their journey of learning in Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

“This is the start of what we hope will be a mutually-beneficial relationship with the Jamaican government that will see nurses from the Caribbean further develop their skills and competencies and UK multi-disciplinary staff travel to Jamaica to provide support for the nursing workforce there.

“This is an exciting partnership that will benefit patients both in the UK and Jamaica,” she added.

During their time in Leeds, the global learning practitioners have been spending time with the local community to get to know the area.

“They are always willing to teach us something new and also eager to learn from us too”

Monique Patrick

Kimberly Reid-Ferro, one of the Jamaican nurses involved in the scheme, said her new colleagues on Ward L06 were already like “family”.

“Coming on this journey was initially a struggle having to leave my family, but when I have received such a warm welcome and appreciation from the Leeds Trust staff, things have started to lighten up,” she said. “I have been working on L06 so far and trust me, they are like family.”

Another Jamaican nurse Monique Patrick, who is currently on Ward L43, added: “It’s been an awesome experience so far. Staff on the NICU are warm and welcoming. They are always willing to teach us something new and also eager to learn from us too.”

While at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, the nurses will be working across both adult and paediatric critical care units where they will be learning from multi-disciplinary teams, aiming to take vital learnings back to Jamaica to strengthen the country’s critical care offering.