Nurses from Kenya boost numbers thanks to bilateral agreement


A meet and greet for the 13 new recruits was held last week

A Kenyan nurse has started working at the Horton General Hospital as part of a bilateral agreement between the UK and Kenya governments.   12 other Kenyan nurses have also joined the team at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford.

Both hospitals are run by the Oxford University Hospitals Trust which has become the first NHS Trust in the UK to welcome Kenyan nurses as part of the agreement.

The aim is to boost the nursing workforce and address the pressures the NHS faces through providing employment opportunities for qualified unemployed Kenyan healthcare workers.

The nurses started work in June.   They were officially welcomed at a meet-and-greet event last Thursday (July 28), which was attended by some of their new senior trust colleagues, and representatives from NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Kenyan High Commission.

One of the new nurses is Julia Mbuthia.   She arrived from Murang’a, a town around 50 miles from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city.   Julia said: “My colleagues and I were warmly received by the OUH team and the community of Kenyans in Oxford. Both the team at OUH and fellow Kenyans have helped us settle in and feel at home.

“While in Kenya, I learnt about the difficulties some countries have in recruiting – and I hoped to be part of the solution.

“When the opportunity to join OUH presented itself, I was excited. I took it on because it was a chance for me to be part of one of the leading trusts in the UK. It was also an opportunity for me to learn how healthcare is managed in advanced systems.”

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at OUH, said: “It was a real privilege to welcome each and every one of the 13 nurses who have joined us as part of this exciting new programme between the UK and Kenya.

“We are grateful to Julia and the new nurses for joining us, and we are very lucky to have them. Together, they will enhance diversity, introduce new ideas, and boost our nursing workforce.”

Health Minister Maria Caulfield said: “I warmly welcome the new nurses who have joined our NHS workforce as part of this partnership with Kenya. The scheme will make the most of UK and Kenyan health expertise and benefit both countries through the exchange of knowledge and training.”

The Oxford University Hospitals Trust has welcomed around 1,000 international nurses, recruited from locations including India, the Caribbean, and the United States, since the end of 2017.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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