Award-winning support for internationally educated nurses at Lincolnshire’s hospitals

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) has achieved the NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award in recognition of best practice care for staff recruited and onboarded from overseas.

Posted on in Announcements

Over the last three years, in excess of 780 internationally educated nurses have joined ULHT across 42 cohorts, ranging in size from five to 65 from countries around the world including India, Japan, Malta, Philippines, Jamaica and more.

The award was launched in 2022 to standardise the pastoral care provided by Trusts and recognise commitment to high quality support. To achieve the award, Trusts are assessed against a set of standards for pastoral care developed by international recruitment leads and international nursing and midwifery associations.

Simon Behan, Head of Recruitment at ULHT, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have our work to support our internationally educated nurses recognised by NHS England.

“Our international colleagues uproot their entire lives to bring their valuable experience and skills to the NHS for the benefit of our patients in Lincolnshire, and we aim to respect that life-changing decision by making the recruitment, induction and integration into life at ULHT as smooth and welcoming as possible.

“We’ve developed strong relationships with our recruitment partners to strengthen communication and reassure candidates throughout their entire recruitment and onboarding process into our hospitals and to support them through their examinations to gain registered nurse status in the UK.

“Great teamwork has been key to achieving this award, and I’d like to thank colleagues at regional NHSE, our external recruitment partners, and our amazing internal colleagues in clinical education, our international recruitment and onboarding team, our international nurses and colleagues from across the Trust who have been key in us receiving this award.”

Achievement of the award recognises ULHT’s international recruitment and commitment to the high-quality pastoral care provided to our internationally educated nurses, during the recruitment process and throughout their employment. This recruitment and onboarding experience is being expanded to support all overseas candidates joining the Trust, including allied health practitioners and doctors.

The Trust works within the Ethical Recruitment guidelines from the World Health Organisation and has specialist teams dedicated to the recruitment, onboarding, training support and pastoral care for our overseas candidates. These teams work with our candidates  providing advice, guidance, and information to look after them  from the point of them being ready to travel to the UK, throughout their OSCE training and then transition onto the wards and anytime they need support during their time at the Trust.

Angie Davies, Director of Nursing, said: “With around 10,000 colleagues from across the world, ULHT is an incredibly diverse organisation.

“I’m incredibly grateful to each and every one of the Internationally Educated Nurses that have joined our hospitals in Lincoln, Grantham and Boston over the last three years as part of our ongoing international recruitment campaigns. We can’t underestimate the upheaval in their lives to bring their skills to Lincolnshire, and the immeasurable benefits they provide when they care for patients.”

Initiatives to celebrate the variety of cultures at ULHT have also been introduced, including ‘eat and greet’ social events where staff are encouraged to bring a national dish to share with colleagues, and dishes available in the restaurants to celebrate festivals or dates such as Onam and Windrush Day.

Trish Tsuro, chair of the race, ethnicity and cultural heritage (REACH) staff network at ULHT, said: “Helping our international colleagues with what is important to them plays a huge role in staff wellbeing and ultimately retention.

“Investing into celebrating diversity and helping all our colleagues feel seen by recognising the events that are important to them, which is particularly important for those that are far from the communities they have come from.”