A team effort by the Trust’s HR International Recruitment team and the Nursing International Recruitment team has helped secure the NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award.
Launched in March 2022, the award is a benchmark for recruitment of international nurses and midwives across England. Additionally, it provides the opportunity for Trusts to recognise their work in international recruitment and show their commitment to colleague wellbeing of potential and existing employees. So far, 53 Trusts have achieved this award, which is a quarter of the total Trusts in England.
Last year 172 international nurses and midwives were recruited at Blackpool, and with a target of recruiting 129 more by November this year, it’s essential that BTH continues to prioritise the safe arrival, induction and support for new people joining us through our international recruitment programme.
Achieving the award involves meeting a set of standards for best practice pastoral care, which have been co-developed with regional and Trust international recruitment leads and international nursing and midwifery associations. By achieving the award, Trusts demonstrate a commitment to supporting internationally educated nurses and midwives at every stage of their recruitment and beyond. Enhanced pastoral support has a positive impact on both recruitment and retention and supports staff wellbeing.
Monica Hodgkinson, Nursing & AHP Recruitment and Retention Lead at the Trust, said: “We are very excited, proud and pleased at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals to have achieved this award and look forward to being able to promote it.
“We have been undergoing international recruitment of nurses for quite a few years so knew that we had some areas well covered, but it has been really useful to apply for the award and benchmark our practice, identifying where we can improve, and we have made great headway in the last year on this improvement journey since the pastoral care quality award came out.
“One key improvement at our Trust is that we have been fortunate to have one of our established Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) take up the role of Trust cultural diversity network lead, and this has really helped us to hear the voices and concerns of our IENs in the last few months and enabled us to make earlier changes and improvements.
“We are able to get immediate feedback that our new arrivals are settling in well to the local Filipino community and can draw on the support of the diversity network and the local community if we are concerned about a nurse seeming isolated, which we have done on a few occasions.”
Having achieved the award, reassessment will take place every two years.