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India recruitment trip attracts 100 nurses to Morriston Hospital

Image shows a group of people standing

Over 100 new arrivals will boost the number of nurses in Morriston Hospital thanks to the health board’s first recruitment event in India.

A trip to Kochi has led to the employment of 107 nurses, some with 15 years’ experience, to help fill the void of Band 5 nurses within Swansea Bay.

The new recruits are a mixture of medical, surgical and theatre nurses, and they will arrive in Swansea in February.

Following compliance checks and obtaining a visa, nurses will face a four-week OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) training programme in the health board’s Nurse Education Training Suite based in Baglan HQ before sitting an exam to attain their Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration.

Image shows people sat behind desks during a presentation Following that, they will start their new roles in April.

Head of Nursing Education and Recruitment Lynne Jones led the health board’s visit, accompanied by Miranda Williams from the health board’s Nurse Education department; renal matron Lisa Morris; Rhiannon Jones, Deputy Head of Nursing for T&O and Spinal Surgery, and theatre matron Stewart Dow.

Between them, they interviewed 119 nurses over the course of four days.

PICTURED: Head of Nursing Education and Recruitment Lynne Jones delivers a presentation to the nurses.

“We went to India to recruit medical, surgical and theatre nurses. This is where we have the most Band 5 vacancies,” said Lynne.

“As part of the overseas nursing recruitment campaign, we decided to hold a face-to-face event which is something we were unable to do during the height of the pandemic.

“We held a lot of our interviews during the pandemic over Teams, which was successful, but there is nothing like face-to-face interviews.

“The trip allowed us to find out a bit more about the candidates and have a more personal insight, and we found quality candidates with a range of experience from one to 15 years’ experience.”

Currently, the health board is employing approximately 32 international nurses every five weeks to help fill the void of Band 5 nurses.

The recent trip to India has helped bolster its numbers, while the health board continues to welcome more student nurses to help raise staffing levels.

Image shows a group of people standing Lynne said: “The gap of Band 5 nurses is closing, so we are making progress. It’s an issue being felt around the UK.

“Our sources of Band 5 nurses are our student nurses and the regular recruitment of overseas nurses.”

PICTURED: The health board's (from left) Lynne Jones, theatre matron Stewart Dow, renal matron Lisa Morris, Rhiannon Jones, Deputy Head of Nursing for T&O and Spinal Surgery along with Miranda Williams of the Nurse Education department hosted the successful recruitment event in India.

The health board will consider a return visit to India in the new few months, having held similar recruitment events in the Philippines in recent years.

The decision to recruit specifically from India was based on the country’s high number of quality nurses.

Lynne said: “We need overseas nurses here, while for them it’s an opportunity to develop their skills further and experience a different lifestyle.

“In countries such as India there are a surplus of trained nurses. Ethically, we can recruit from these countries as they are not being left short of quality nurses. Often, the nurses we interview have only been given 12-month contracts in their home countries, so they are also looking at more long-term commitments, which we can offer.

“There are countries which we would regard as being on a red list and are short in terms of nurses, so we don’t recruit from there.”

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