“We believe that everyone should be made to feel welcomed and valued and treated with dignity and respect.”
Lola Omotoso is Matron for Walsall Healthcare’s international recruitment and Lucy Button is Senior Sister and both are here to support new colleagues as they settle into their roles and lives in the Black Country.
They are focused on ensuring new staff are given any advice they need to adjust to a completely different country to the one they call home and help with any practical challenges that may arise too.
Lola said: “I have been in the same situation as our international nurses – I was a migrant from Nigeria – so I do know first-hand how it feels to come into a completely new country and to leave friends and family behind.
“They are experiencing a whole range of emotions; they are working in a totally different organisation to the one they have been used to, they have high expectations of this new life in England and they are trying to get used to a whole new culture.
“As an organisation our Trust needs to make them feel welcomed and valued and treated with dignity and respect. We appreciate their contribution to our teams and want to celebrate them. They need to feel that we thank them for choosing us and for choosing to share their compassion and care with our communities in Walsall as well as encourage our existing teams.”
Lucy added: “While I can’t understand how it feels to be in their shoes as that is not my background I do always ask myself “How would I feel” and that reinforces my personal commitment to our international nurses.
“This is a massive change for them and while Lola and I are in these roles to support them it is actually everyone’s responsibility within the Trust to make our colleagues feel welcome. If our nurses feel happy, safe and supported that will inevitably transfer to our patients’ experience too.”
Lola and Lucy are working closely with the BAME Shared Decision Making Council and its Buddying scheme which was set up with Walsall Healthcare’s charity Well Wishers to welcome and support international nurses.