International midwives to join region's hospitals as part of pilot scheme

The East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust has recruited 30 new international midwives

The East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust has recruited 30 new international midwives - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A group of 30 new midwives from Portugal and Italy are to start work in Suffolk and Essex as part of a new pilot scheme.

The 30 midwives will work at Ipswich, Colchester and Clacton hospitals, as well as in community midwifery teams across the region.

They are all already registered with the National Midwifery Council (NMC) and will be ready to help support families through childbirth after a short induction.

Some are set to start work at the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) in October alongside local midwives, while others will start their careers at the trust in January.

Their recruitment comes as part of a pilot scheme which ESNEFT was selected for by the NHS, with only one other trust in the country picked to take part.


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ESNEFT was chosen due to its wealth of experience in recruiting nurses from overseas.

Dee Macey, head of midwifery at ESNEFT

Dee Macey, head of midwifery at ESNEFT - Credit: ESNEFT

Dee Macey, head of midwifery at ESNEFT, said it is "really exciting" to know the new recruits are bringing with them fresh skills.

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Ms Macey said: "All the new midwives will have an induction period, then spend several weeks working with the teams, in the community, in wards, on the delivery suites and postnatally.

"In line with national guidance we will be working towards the provision of continuity of midwifery care, where the end point will be for  new parents to ideally have the same midwife from the beginning of their pregnancy through birth and into the postnatal period.

“Every new person brings a different perspective and different skills into our team.

"International recruitment has a proven track record and has worked well across nursing staff for many years. European midwives in the past have really embraced the approach here and been absolutely fabulous.”

Staff from around the world help provide care at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals

Staff from around the world help provide care at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals - Credit: ESNEFT

Current international nursing staff includes people from the Philippines, India and across Africa.

Sarah Kench, head of clinical education and workforce at the trust, said: "We have a lot of experience of international recruitment and every individual is supported through a comprehensive 12-month development programme.

“When they first arrive, they will quarantine for 10 days, while we support them online before beginning their trust training. We offer pastoral support, arrange initial accommodation and help them settle into life in the area as well as in their clinical role.”

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