Officials from Health Education England (HEE) in the United Kingdom have offered 29 Vincentian registered nurses posts at Leeds Teaching Hospitals in the UK, which has a large Caribbean diaspora.
The HEE team conducted the 2nd phase of the one-week recruitment process of unemployed registered nurses in late February, interviewing 49 candidates.
The successful candidates will now go through various processes, inclusive of series of assessments to become qualified to work as a registered nurse in the UK.
This second cohort of nurses is expected to travel to the UK by October 2020.
Cohort 1 of the recruitment process was conducted in SVG in January 2019.
Sixteen nurses are expected to leave for the UK by mid-March 2020 to take up employment at various hospitals in the UK, including East Lancashire Hospital, Lancashire Care, Morecambe Bay, Lancashire Teaching Hospital and Blackpool Hospital.
The initiative of the recruitment of unemployed nurses came in effect as a result of an agreement concluded on Dec. 7, 2018 between SVG and HEE.
The agreement provides for the recruitment of Vincentian nurses to the National Health Services (NHS) of the UK to be trained and gain experience that will be use in the future to better serve the healthcare delivery in SVG.
In addition to the long-term recruitment of nurses, the agreement also provides for short-term placements for five to 10 employed nurses per year from SVG to work in the UK for six months.
Upon completion of the short-term placements, nurses must return to SVG. Approximately five nurses per year from the UK will be seconded for four to 12 weeks to work in SVG.
The UK NHS was established in 1948. It is the 5th largest employer in the world and employs approximately 1.3 million people.
The Global Learners Programme is the only UK Government Accredited International recruitment of nurses’ programme.
NHS officials conducted recruitment in other countries including India, Dubai and the Philippines. SVG is the only country in the Caribbean to have been offered the recruitment process by HEE.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce and the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, expressed its appreciation to the Government of the United Kingdom and Officials at Health Education England for their continuous support and partnership to the health care development of this country,” the ministry said in a press release.