45 Vincentian nurses recruited to work in UK
March 6, 2020

45 Vincentian nurses recruited to work in UK

FORTY-FIVE REGISTERED nurses from St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) have been recruited to work in the United Kingdown (UK), with the first batch leaving by the middle of this month to take up employment.

The nurses were recruited by officials from Health Education England (HEE) who conducted one-week recruitment exercises here in January, 2019 and from February 25 to 27, 2020.

During the most recent exercise, 29 candidates, who were selected from among 49 shotlisted unemployed nurses, were offered posts at Leeds Teaching Hospitals in the UK, which has a large Caribbean diaspora.

The 29 successful candidates will now go through various processes, inclusive of series of assessments to become qualified to work as a registered nurse in the UK. This cohort of nurses is expected to travel to the UK by October 2020.

The 16 nurses who were selected from interviews conducted last year are expected to leave for the UK by mid-March 2020 to take up employment at various hospitals including East Lancashire Hospital, Lancashire Care, Morecambe Bay, Lancashire Teaching Hospital and Blackpool Hospital in the UK.

The recruitment of unemployed nurses follows the signing of an agreement on December 7, 2018 between the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines and HEE. The agreement provides for the recruitment of Vincentian nurses to the National Health Services (NHS) of the UK to be trained and gain experience that will be use in the future to better serve the healthcare delivery in SVG.

In addition to the long-term recruitment of nurses, the agreement also provides for short-term placements for five to 10 employed nurses per year from SVG to work in the UK for a period of six months. Upon completion of the short-term placements, nurses must return to SVG. Approximately five nurses per year from the UK will be seconded for periods of between four to 12 weeks to work in SVG.

The NHS Officials conducted its recruitment in other countries including India, Dubai and the Philippines. SVG is the only country in the Caribbean to have been offered the recruitment process by HEE, a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.