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Swansea Bay trains Velindre's first group of overseas nurses

Image shows a group of people standing

Swansea Bay’s new Nurse Education Training Suite is spreading its wings by supporting a fresh group of overseas nurses on behalf of another NHS Wales healthcare provider.

Having recruited 390 nurses since January 2022, Swansea Bay UHB is well versed when it comes to preparing international staff for employment in the NHS.

Image shows nurses training with a mannequin The training suite, which was officially opened last year, is now training 14 international nurses for Velindre University NHS Trust to fill band five vacancies.

Although the newcomers are already trained nurses, they need to undergo additional training before being able to register as a nurse in the UK.

PICTURED: Velindre's overseas nurses training in Swansea Bay's training centre in Baglan.

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

The health board’s efforts in filling its void of band five nurses – an issue felt throughout the UK – has attracted national attention, having featured on the BBC’s The One Show last year.

Its quality of training and specialist facility has also caught the eye of fellow health care bodies in Wales.

Velindre University NHS Trust is a specialist provider of cancer services in Wales and operates the Velindre Cancer Service from its centre in Cardiff and other health care settings across south east Wales.

Image shows nurses training with a mannequin Its partnership with Swansea Bay strengthened during a recent recruitment trip to India, and they are now paying a set fee to obtain the health board’s specialist training.

Vivienne Cooper, Head of Nursing for Velindre Cancer Service, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Swansea Bay on this initiative.

PICTURED: Swansea Bay staff have provided the training for Velindre's first cohort of overseas nurses.

“Learning from their vast experience is incredibly valuable and as is the opportunity for our trainers to observe OSCE training delivery for future use.

“We have been very impressed with the support we have received and the pastoral care to our nurses whilst staying in Swansea. It’s an excellent example of Welsh health care working together to improve our services.”

Lynne Jones, Swansea Bay’s Head of Nursing Education and Recruitment, has spent the last 21 years in nurse education and recruitment roles and has been pivotal in attracting overseas nurses to Swansea Bay.

She said: “Filling band five roles has been a big issue felt across Britain, but over the last few years we’ve made a huge effort to bridge the gap by attracting international nurses to our health board.

Image shows a group of people standing “So when discussions started between ourselves and Velindre we understood just how important it was for their trust that we provided our specialist training.

PICTURED: Staff from Swansea Bay's Nurse Education team and the overseas nurses being trained for Velindre University NHS Trust.

“We have invested in a dedicated training centre which includes two rooms designed like wards, two teaching rooms, a quiet study area and clinical skills room. That gives the nurses a fantastic platform for their OSCE training before going on to obtain their NMC registration.

“We are delighted to have been able to collaborate with Velindre and train their first ever cohort of international nurses.

“For us, I see it as a reminder of the excellent work put in by our health board and nurse education team over the last few years. It also shows how well we are regarded by our colleagues in Welsh health care.”

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