They will undertake healthcare support roles until they can retrain and register as nurses in the UK.
Eleven NHS Trusts are offering a “new life and career” to Palestinian refugees under a new pilot scheme.
Barts Health NHS Trust and University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust are just two NHS organisations offering refugee nurses a new start in the UK.
Working as nurses in Lebanon before being displaced, they undertake healthcare support roles in UK hospitals until they can retrain to obtain registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
NHS England and NHS Improvement created the pilot in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), RefuAid and Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB).
A four-week intensive induction program designed by LJMU will help participants adjust to working in the NHS.
There are currently around 40,000 registered nurse vacancies across the NHS in England alone.
A new life.
Hamzeh Shridi left his wife and two children in Lebanon and hopes to reunite with them in September when they plan to move to Derby to begin their new life together.
He said: “I have a wife and two young children back in Lebanon who I am hoping to bring to the UK later this year, and the team here have also helped me to book flights to go back to see them. I send my family pictures and videos and my children are always asking me to show them what Derby is like.”
Salah Hussein said that the decision to move to the UK was a daunting prospect, but one he is relishing: “In the beginning, it is not easy to leave your country and your family, especially during Ramadan, which was an extra challenge. In the first few weeks we were worried about speaking to people about things, but now we’re getting so much better at communicating and everyone here is so friendly.
“This is a new opportunity for us in the UK and I am so happy to be able to work for the NHS. I am always looking for new opportunities to pursue a better life and career and have more human rights, as well as being the best nurse I can be.”
A huge wealth of experience.
Susana Lucena-Amaro, matron at The Royal London Hospital said: “ We are honoured to be part of the refugee nursing programme, which gives us another wonderful opportunity to grow our diverse and inclusive team.
“We welcome the huge wealth of experience and skill nurses will bring and are looking forward to supporting them at the start of their NHS careers.”
Phil Bolton, Interim Executive Chief Nurse, added: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome our new colleagues to the Trust and to be able to offer them this opportunity to pursue a career in the NHS.
“These refugees have come from a very difficult situation and it is not easy for them to have made the decision to move to another side of the world, so they deserve a lot of credit for what they’re doing.
Before adding, “This is one of the many new ways in which we’re looking at our staffing models and our future workforce planning in a different, innovative way.”