50 new nurses have been offered jobs at Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester as a result of an ongoing recruitment drive.
Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is running a major campaign to help the organisation attract the best talent to provide the best care for its patients.
Every six weeks, newly-qualified, experienced, and former nurses, can attend special recruitment events to discover the benefits of working for a leading NHS Trust.
The recruitment measures are to help the hospitals address a national shortfall of 20,000 trained nurses.
In Kent, Surrey and Sussex there are around 2,000 nursing vacancies being advertised, but not enough trained nurses to apply.
The Trust is therefore also looking overseas and four senior nurses are heading to the Philippines this month to also recruit up to 100 more highly-trained nurses.
It has been more than a decade since teams from Worthing and St Richard’s hospitals last visited the Philippines, but many of the nurses recruited then still live and work in West Sussex.
“This is my first home now,” said Ward Sister Gerthy Albano, who moved to Worthing 12 years ago.
“I really enjoy my job and I love being a ward sister. It was a hard decision to move to a foreign country, but it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made.”
Gerthy is flying to the Philippines to help nurses there decide if they would like to work at Worthing or St Richard’s Hospitals.
The team are very proud to work for the Trust and will talk about the high-standards of care provided by colleagues and the many achievements of the organisation and its staff.
For example, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was one of just 20 acute trusts in England that met the 4-hour A&E waiting time target in 2014/15.
The Trust’s Friends or Family Test scores are consistently higher than the national average, with more than nine out of ten patients recommending the care they receive.
And excellent infection control rates, which include no cases of hospital acquired MRSA blood-stream infection for more than two years, are testament to the quality of nursing and cleanliness of the hospitals.
The recruitment team will also showcase the benefits of living in West Sussex which, in addition to offering the beauty of the coastline and South Downs National Park, is a safe and stable place to bring up a family.
Many Filipinos train to become nurses and take foreign language courses to enable them to live and work abroad.
Staff nurse, Joselina Imperial, originally worked in New York before moving to Worthing Hospital 14 years ago.
She said: “We Filipinos are very warm, caring, compassionate and affectionate, and we do love to be working with people.
“Culturally, we are used to taking good care of our elderly, sick, relatives and non-relatives alike, and we love to care for them.”
Gerthy agreed, and said she was looking forward to telling her compatriots back home about the opportunities available for good nurses at the Trust.
“There is always a chance to progress and develop in your career,” she said. “If you want to study or update your skills the Trust will support and fund you because it is for the benefit of the patients.”
Site Nurse Practitioner, Netce Sia, moved over from the Philippines in 2002 and started on a surgical ward before being trained to work in intensive care, and then progressing to the Site Management Team.
She said: “An extra 100 nurses from the Philippines is going to be very helpful, maintaining patient safety and boosting continuity of care with good staffing levels.”
At present, the Trust maintains safe levels of nurses by using temporary staff, which proves more expensive and reduces continuity of care.
Director of Nursing, Amanda Parker, said: “Over the last six years we have invested heavily, and significantly increased the number of nurses and healthcare assistants on our wards, but it is not possible to meet demand for nurses from those just trained here.
“Our staffing numbers compare well with other hospitals, but we can still do more – our new colleagues will mean that we will have even more permanent staff, able to give patients the best possible care.”
With the Trust already employing nearly 200 Filipinos, the new nurses will be joining a vibrant community that is well established in the local area.
Meanwhile, the local recruitment campaign continues with the next nursing open and selection day taking place at Worthing Hospital on July 22nd.
If you know any newly-qualifying or trained nurses looking for new opportunities, or former nurses looking to return to the profession, please advise them to visit: www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk/recruitment.
Pictured: Site Nurse Practioner Netce Sia, Ward Sister Gerthy Albano and Staff Nurse Joselina Imperial.