Nurses fly in to bolster Norfolk and Norwich Hospital staff 🏥

Welcome to another midweek briefing.

Nurses fly in to bolster Norfolk and Norwich Hospital staff 🏥

Greetings Seekers!

It's Shaun here with another midweek round up.

With December approaching thoughts are turning to how we keep The Seeker going into next year and beyond when our Innovate UK grant fund runs out.

The plan is to take a short break for Christmas from December 16 and thrash out a business plan to take us forward.

As a sophisticated bunch, we're currently calling our immediate strategy 'By Hook or By Crook' - because if that's what it takes to keep going and create the sustainable independent journalism we all want to see, then that's what we'll do 😉.

What's spurring us on is the reaction we are getting from you our Seekers and the numbers signing up 💪.

Since last week we now have 1221 subscribers - so hello and welcome to the 121 new members who have joined us in the last seven days.

I'm also humbled to see how many of you are supporting us by buying us coffees (which I had to explain to someone last week, aren't real coffees, but virtual £5 micro-donations 🤣). We had more than 15 last weekend alone 🙏.

Your support as ever is greatly appreciated - and is what is spurring us on to get to where we want to be.


📰Today's edition

  • New arrivals
  • Lovely jubbly
  • In Sync
  • Brandland
  • Amber on air
  • Funding boost
  • Scaling up
  • Hedgehog homes
  • Out and about

Ok so let's get going!

New arrivals

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

NHS bosses have welcomed the arrival of 38 international nurses who are getting set to take to the wards at the city’s flagship hospital.

The group - the largest international cohort to arrive at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust - recently jetted in to Heathrow Airport from Nigeria and Ghana as part of a drive which has seen more than 100 nurses, midwives and operating department practitioners (ODPs) recruited into first positions in the NHS. More recruits are planned next year.

Why it matters

Half of the new arrivals will work in surgeries and theatres and the aim is to provide extra support for patients as the hospital gears up for the busy winter season, when services are expected to be at full stretch.

The NNUH has a long a history of overseas recruitment including Kerala, India and the Philippines to fill vital clinical roles, though some may question whether that can contribute to a ‘brain drain’ of staff from those countries, impacting their own healthcare services.

Figures released in a House of Commons library briefing last week show that the majority of NHS staff in England are British with 1 in 5 - or 265,000 reported as non-British, up from 220,000 the previous year.

Of every 1000 staff in England 813 are British, 86 are Asian, 52 are from the EU, 32 are African and 10 are from somewhere else.

Training boost

However, NNUH bosses are also promoting efforts to increase the numbers of homegrown staff and says it is  “working tirelessly to grow our own" through apprenticeship schemes, focusing particularly on its healthcare support workers who can undertake a two-year Trainee Nurse Apprenticeship (TNA) at the UEA to become a Registered Nursing Associate.

Nursing Associates can then choose to develop further though undertaking a two-year Nursing Degree Apprenticeship (NDA) at either UEA, University of Suffolk or the Open University, qualifying with a full BSc degree and becoming a Registered Nurse.

This year, 52 healthcare support workers have progressed onto the TNA pathway and 38 Nursing Associates have progressed onto the NDA pathway.

Settling in

Each of the new nurses will receive support to settle into their accommodation in Norwich or UEA and will get help to register with a bank and healthcare services.

A buddy system is also in place to help them settle in and they were formally welcomed to Norwich during a special breakfast event.

Prof Nancy Fontaine, NNUH Chief Nurse, said the new international nurses have now begun a four-week training programme, which will be followed by a three-week clinical induction.

“We are delighted to welcome our registered nurse colleagues from overseas who bring a wealth of clinical experience and expertise which does serve to enrich our continuous quality and patient experience programme," she said.

“We are actively seeking applications from registered and non-registered nursing staff, as well as admin and clerical.”

Lisa Dennis, International Recruitment Programme Lead, said: "We are really pleased to have all these nurses with many years of nursing experience come and join us at the NNUH to support us with patients in need of care over the winter period."