05/08/2022 | Press releases

National award recognises support offered to new international nursing and midwifery recruits

The Trust which runs Colchester and Ipswich hospitals has received national recognition for the practical and emotional support offered to new international nurses and midwives.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) is the first NHS Trust in the East of England to be awarded the NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award.

The award recognises the Trust’s work in international recruitment and its commitment to providing high-quality pastoral care to internationally educated nurses and midwives during the recruitment process and their employment.

ESNEFT Chief Nurse Giles Thorpe


Giles Thorpe is ESNEFT’s Chief Nurse.

He said: “I am so incredibly proud of the amazing work our post-registration education and workforce teams have done to support our new nurses joining Team ESNEFT from across the world.

“This is a testament to our commitment in not only increasing our staffing levels, but that we consider it a priority that our new colleagues feel supported, engaged with, and appreciated for the diversity of experience and skill they bring with them that benefits our patients and staff.

“More importantly it is our ambition that everyone joining ESNEFT, regardless of where they are from, feels confident to bring their whole selves to work and that we provide an environment that champions equality, diversity and inclusion for all.”

The NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award is part of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s International Recruitment Programme, which supports NHS organisations to increase and develop their international recruitment plans.

ESNEFT runs Colchester and Ipswich hospitals and community services in north Essex and east Suffolk.


What does the Trust do for its new international nurses and midwives?

  • The Trust’s international recruitment partner delivers bedding and essential groceries to a colleague’s accommodation and welcomes them to ESNEFT face to face
  • Colleagues are taken into the town centre where they are based and shown around the area
  • Some nurses are placed with Indian and Filipino “foster parents” who help them settle in. The foster parents are also previous international nurses
  • Colleagues are supported with opening bank accounts and getting a UK sim card so they can keep in touch with family and friends
  • The Trust’s Practice Education team supports new international recruits with the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) training programme and provide individual support too as needed
  • The Education team also liaise with managers to discuss and facilitate any extra study time and additional support necessary on the wards
  • Reflection sessions are also regularly organised where new recruits can discuss how they are getting on and if they have any questions or worries about the OSCE.


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