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Call for NHS overseas nurse exchange programme

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The NHS should begin a national exchange programme that will allow nurses to work in developing countries to improve their skills, UNISON has said.

A motion passed at its Health Care Service Group conference last week called for NHS Employers and other organisations to identify ways to make such a scheme viable. As well as the obvious issue of funding, a potential loss of employment rights for nurses would need to be addressed.

‘I want to ask NHS Employers to work to facilitate the type of exchange this motion is calling for,’ said Gail Adams, UNISON’s head of nursing.

‘The benefits that you have from going international speak for themselves. Seeing images on the television can be harrowing, but there is no personal attachment,’ she added.

‘It is bringing the experience back. It is a rich experience working internationally, it changes us. It opens our minds,’ she told the conference.

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