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Walsall hospital appoints 85 nurses, half from overseas


Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has appointed nearly 90 nurses as part of a recruitment drive that will see around half join the organisation from overseas by the end of next month.

The trust said 85 qualified nurses had either started work or would be joining wards at its Manor Hospital by September as part of a £3.5m investment.

“I believe we have found committed, enthusiastic nurses who are very much looking forward to progressing their careers”

Wendy Lear

Of these 36 of the new qualified nurses were recruited from overseas. The majority have come from Italy, with the rest recruited from Greece, Spain, Portugal, Croatia and Romania.

The trust also said an extra 35 healthcare assistants had been appointed.

Wendy Lear, head of hursing at the trust, said the decision to recruit from overseas was in response to the national nursing shortage and to boost the numbers of nurses recruited from this country.

“It was a very successful recruitment drive and I believe we have found committed, enthusiastic nurses who are very much looking forward to progressing their careers here in Walsall and joining a Trust that will support them to do so,” she said.

“All of the overseas nurses can speak English, albeit with an accent,” she said. “It wouldn’t have been in anyone’s best interests to recruit nurses who didn’t have a good command of English.

“Some nurses have started work already and all will be in place by the end of September,” she added. “I am really pleased with everyone that we have recruited.”

“It will probably take me a little while to get used to the Walsall accent, but I’ll get there”

Sofia Fiouni

Among the recruits is Sofia Fiouni, 28, who used to work in a Greek public hospital in intensive care but is now working on the trust’s gastroenterology ward.

“I love the interaction with patients which I sadly didn’t have on ITU back at home because of people’s conditions,” she said.

“It has made me think that I’d like to specialise in mental health or in dementia for example,” she said. “I feel I am making progress and gaining more skills and I’m glad I made the move here.

She added: “The patients have been very nice to me. I have explained where I come from when they ask me where my accent is from and they have been interested and want to chat to me about it.

“My colleagues are helping me too,” she said. “It will probably take me a little while to get used to the Walsall accent, but I’ll get there and I’m excited about the future.”


Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

Sofia Fiouni


Readers' comments (5)

  • Welcome to these nurses.

    Please ensure you have sound knowledge of the Human Rights Act, the Mental Capacity Act, the Data Protection Act and the Francis Report.

    There is a duty of candour and it is wise to get into a union for nurses quickly.

    Best wishes.

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  • Also the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and the Care Act 2014

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  • Thanks to the nurses coming, hope they will be treated kindly. I got ill treated and failed last day of my training because I am green, NHS has plenty of money true !

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  • there was an article in the Times yesterday suggesting that under new immigration laws that nurses earning under £35, 000 will not be allowed to work and will be sent back. Seems crazy after all the costly recruitment drives and natural wastage there is as a result of dissatisfied staff discovering that the job or environment was not all it is cracked up to be.

    it seems patients and staff have just become numbers to manipulate for experience and what of those who don't quite make that salary mark but have given up a lot in their own countries and chosen to settle in the UK. They need some sort of guarantee of job security for a certain duration.

    Foreign staff can offer a lot to the NHS. Most are highly qualified and bring a wealth of experience with them from health services in their own country and it should be a learning exchange for all. Just remember the NHS way is not the only way and not necessarily the best or even the right way! they need to open their doors and open up if they are going to progress online with other services around the world providing the very best for their patients.

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  • Don't forget the ability to speak english

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