Nurses recruited from abroad are being supported with their banking, travel and accommodation needs thanks to three partnerships established by two Black Country NHS Trusts.
The Clinical Fellowship Programme International Recruitment Team, which supports internationally recruited (IR) Nurses at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, has arranged for HSBC UK bank, National Express West Midlands buses and FW Property Development to provide specialist assistance.
HSBC UK provides financial education, National Express West Midlands supplies four weeks of free bus travel on its services for nurses during their first month in the UK, and FW provides accommodation for their first 30 days.
Chanelle Esposito, Acting International Recruitment Operations Manager for both Trusts, said: “HSBC staff educate nurses with monthly sessions and our first session went amazingly well.
“We’ve received some brilliant feedback from our nurses as to how easy this process was. HSBC educated our nurses on fraud, scams and how to use their online banking tools to work for them.
“The nurses also said how this relieved stress for them in setting up a UK bank account as HSBC guided them through the process and offered advice.”
Leanne Hailstone, HSBC Local Director, Wolverhampton Market, Midlands Region, delivered presentations to international nurses. She said: “It’s important newcomers can access banking services quickly and easily, as well as build awareness on how they can manage their finances and protect themselves against fraud and scams.
“Our global banking services are especially useful, as being connected to their home country is something that can help them to manage their finances while living in the UK.”
David Gallagher, Senior Partnership Manager at National Express West Midlands, said: “We’re very proud to support this initiative.
“We’re passionate about the environmental benefits that sustainable travel delivers for people and the environment. Offering free travel to new recruits encourages people to experience the benefits of travelling by bus.
“Fourteen per cent of the NHS’s carbon footprint is caused by staff commuting and patient travel. We’re working with the Trusts to meet their transport and travel net zero targets and to play their part in improvements to local air quality.
“As well as the environmental benefits, we’re supporting the Trust with the challenges for staff. By offering four weeks’ free travel for new recruits and 10 per cent off bus travel for all NHS staff, a monthly pass can work out as affordable as £1.48 per day.”
FW Property has allocated nine extra rooms per month in Wolverhampton. Comprising a number of two and three bedroom apartments, the modern, serviced accommodation was fully refurbished for the arrival of the Nurses.
Katie Marsh, House Manager at FW Property, said: “We’re honoured to be part of this process. A House Manager is on site if the nurses have any issues or concerns, and their wellbeing is important to us, therefore their stay also includes membership at the local Firewalker Gym. We also offer an NHS discount for anyone staying with us.”
Chanelle added: “Katie has been so helpful and welcoming to our international Nurses, who have also told us how much they’re enjoying their stay there.”
Three international Staff Nurses from Walsall Healthcare said the support helped them settled in.
Virginia Enyidede, 27, from Nigeria, said: “I’ve benefitted from the support, so thank you to the recruitment team. Settling in was very easy for me, right from when I entered the country till now, I never felt left out.
“The accommodation was comfortable, the bus pass helped me in navigating my way around and the account opening session all contributed to making me feel at home already.”
Patience Ekuna, 32, from Ghana, added: “The support couldn’t have been any better in helping me settle in. It was very welcoming and it took away a lot of stress and frustration that I could have felt doing all this on my own. I’m very appreciative, thank you so much.”
Philomina Kissibugum, 30, also from Ghana, said: “Using HSBC UK bank has been very easy and simple with the app. Transferring money is also easy, with no long queues.
“National Express really helped when we were trying to get to our accommodation and any time we got lost we could easily get on the bus.
“Our free accommodation was top notch, as was our house manager. She was approachable and always checking on us. I feel very glad and fortunate to have these benefits.”