First Overseas Nurses Arrive at Forth Valley Royal Hospital

Six nurses from overseas have arrived at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and experience having previously worked within hospitals in the Kerala state of India.

They have been recruited, in partnership with NHS Professionals, as part of a Scottish Government initiative to increase international nurse recruitment and support the delivery of health services across Scotland. They will be joined by a further 7 nurses from India and Zimbabwe, who are due to arrive in Forth Valley in May 2022.

This international recruitment programme, which aims to recruit around 200 nurses across Scotland, has been carried out ethically in line with the Scottish Code of Practice for the International Recruitment of Health and Social Care Personnel. This ensures NHS Scotland does not recruit from countries with their own qualified healthcare staffing shortages.

Louise Boyle, Interim Chief Nurse, Forth Valley Royal Hospital, who welcomed the nurses on their first day at NHS Forth Valley, said. “We have had considerable success in recent years in attracting newly qualified nursing staff to join us, however, it’s also important to look beyond the established recruitment routes to help us enhance our nursing workforce.

“We are delighted to welcome these new nurses to NHS Forth Valley and I, along with senior nursing colleagues across the hospital, will be doing everything we can to make them feel at home over the coming weeks and months.”

The nurses, who have experience in a number of areas including intensive care and surgical wards, will undergo a full induction programme. They will also receive ongoing support to help them settle well into their new jobs and lives in Scotland where they have been offered permanent nursing posts.

Rahana Babu, who will be working in one of the surgical wards at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, said: “Despite having family in England, I was really keen to come to Scotland to work as the people are really friendly and I felt I would have greater opportunities to learn and develop my nursing career.

Huldha Pandian, said she had already heard a lot about Forth Valley Royal Hospital before she joined the programme, including its famous robots. She said: “I thought Forth Valley would be a really nice place to live and work and I’m looking forward to gaining experience working in different wards and finding out more about the hospital and the use of technology to improve patient care.”

Maries Pakrath, who has experience of working in Intensive Care, said: “I am looking forward to working in the Intensive Care Unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. It’s good to be here with other nursing colleagues from India and I also have a brother who is studying to be a nurse in Glasgow. However, we all feel very supported by everyone we have met since we arrived in Forth Valley.”

Additional Information

On 5th October 2021 the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care confirmed that funding would be made available to NHS Boards across Scotland to recruit up to 200 registered nurses from overseas by March 2022. They also highlighted plans to accelerate progress with a number of the commitments made in the Recovery Plan, including developing structures to directly train international nurses and prepare them for the examinations they must take to gain UK registration.