Welcoming our first International Physiotherapists

The first two physiotherapists from overseas recently arrived at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and experience.

They have been recruited, in partnership with NHS Professionals, as part of a Scottish Government initiative to increase international recruitment and support the delivery of health services across Scotland.

The physiotherapists, from India and Sri Lanka, have experience working in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait and each has been assigned an NHS Forth Valley physiotherapist who, along with other team members, will support them as they learn all about life in Scotland and working within our NHS.

The international recruitment programme 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. The Allied Health Professions (AHP) services and the International Recruitment Team have developed a comprehensive induction and training plan for their arrival.

Eileen Sharp, NHS Forth Valley’s International Recruitment Lead, who welcomed the physiotherapists on their first day at NHS Forth Valley, said. “We are delighted to welcome our first physiotherapists who have joined us as part of our International Recruitment scheme.

“Our new colleagues are a welcome addition to our teams and this is a great opportunity for us all to learn from and with each other.”

Trub Trupti Milind Vedak from India, who graduated in 2016 and completed a post-graduate degree in 2019, explained why she opted for Scotland.  She said: “I wanted to progress my career and learn different aspects of physiotherapy, including new technology. The systems here for record keeping, for example, are very different than in India.

“It is cold though. In India it’s sunny and 43°C but here it is calm and peaceful.”

Poruthotage Milan Nilendra Perera from Sri Lanka added: “It was my dream to be working in the UK, especially in the NHS. I have worked in Sri Lanka and Kuwait, where the systems are the same but I really need to expand my knowledge and skills. My first impressions of Scotland are wonderful.”

Allied Health Professions are following in the footsteps of nursing colleagues recruited from overseas who began this journey last year. Midwifery colleagues recruited under this national recruitment initiative are also due to be welcomed to NHS Forth Valley in August 2023.