NHS taskforce to tap into refugee talent

A taskforce is being launched charged with recruiting experienced refugee
nurses to plug the NHS skills gap.

It aims to make it easier for the thousands of professionally qualified
nurses living in the UK as refugees to work, rather than recruiting staff from

"Employers continue to find it hard to recruit nurses throughout the UK
and yet there are many refugee nurses who are finding it impossibly difficult
to get back into work," says Patrick Wintour, director of the
Employability Forum.

Guy Young, deputy director of nursing at Homerton Hospital NHS Trust, agreed
there is a real need for the taskforce.

"We are aware there are trained, experienced nurses in Hackney [London]
who are sitting at home doing nothing," he says. "We see that as a
wasted resource and talent. The skills they could bring to our department could
be immense."

Young said the hospital has been filling posts with expensive agency staff
because there are not enough experienced nurses available.

"There are gaps at senior levels," he said, "and there are
people out there, such as refugee nurses, who have a wealth of experience and
have held senior posts."

Refugee nurses have a valuable role to play in treating ethnic minorities
and overcoming language barriers, he added.


The taskforce’s priorities

– Provision of information about refugee nurses to employers

– Development and delivery of clear information to the nurses

– To overhaul the confusing, time-consuming recognition process
and create a clear pathway for refugee nurses

– Make processes more transparent, fair and effective

– Raise awareness of how refugee nurses can help the NHS

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