Bury St Edmunds: First batch of Portuguese nurses arrive at West Suffolk Hospital

Newly qualified nurses and recently arrived Portuguese nurses are pictured at West Suffolk Hospital

Newly qualified nurses and recently arrived Portuguese nurses are pictured at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

OLA!

That was on the lips of staff at the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, yesterday afternoon, when they met up for tea and biscuits in the staff restaurant.

The cultures may have been mixed but they were all focused on one objective as 18 Portuguese nurses linked up with their 12 newly qualified English counterparts.

The talk was all about the roles they are set to play in the 24/7 operation at the hospital, in Hardwick Lane, and the various departments they have been assigned to.

The new recruits from Portugal are the first batch of nurses to arrive at the hospital with a further 21 due in March.


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They have been taken on following a shortage of registered UK nurses.

It prompted senior officials at the West Suffolk to go on a recruitment drive to Portugal where there is an “excess” of qualified nurses.

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Their English was near perfect as they were able to converse with their colleagues over their plans and aspirations.

Ana Fernandes, Vitor Coleho and Tiago Da Silva told how they were looking forward to the challenges ahead and the career prospects with their English colleagues Peter Mason, Sarah Ratcliffe and Denise Pierce, who between them were aged from 22 to 47.

“It will be different but amazing,” said Tiago. “And everyone here has been very, very nice.”

Meanwhile, Ana added: The prospects here are so good ... we don’t have that back home. We have a wonderful opportunity here and we aim to be at the hospital for a long while.”

Nichole Day, executive chief nurse at the hospital, said that all the new nurses will begin an induction programme this month and would initillay be living on site in the nurses accommodation.

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