Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

International Face of Nursing in the Capital

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

International Face of Nursing in the Capital

Article excerpt


THEIR nurses' uniforms are the same, and their qualifications are of the same high standard, but staff on the afternoon operating theatre shift at Great Ormond Street Hospital come from all over the world.

A snapshot of the busy unit yesterday showed nurses from Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

This is the international face of nursing care that has been condemned by the Royal College of Nursing at their annual conference in Harrogate.

It is estimated that one in three London nurses is foreign, prompting the RCN to brand what it called the "hoovering up" of foreign nurses as deplorable.

But the senior sister in theatres at Great Ormond Street, Julie Wright, said: "Foreign nurses come here because they want to see the world and because of the professional development we can offer them, so both of us benefit.

"The hospital is lucky to be Well-come: New Zealander Sue Anderson, Filipino Imelda Chan, Australian Warren Austin, Canadian Evonne Mondor and Yu-Sum Sung from Hong Kong able to draw on such a wide range of experience from our theatre staff.

"It's nice to hear what's happening in other parts of the world, and sometimes it's nice to learn things which make us a bit more grateful for the NHS."

A spokeswoman said other countries represented by staff at the hospital include Germany, the Dominican Republic, the Seychelles, Spain, Belgium, the US, Italy, Austria and Denmark.

However, the spokeswoman challenged the RCN's claims that foreign nurse are often "poached".

She said: "The hospital does not actively recruit from other countries but is linked to the NHS regional initiatives on overseas recruitment."

Sue Atkinson, 30, a senior staff nurse from New Zealand who has worked at the hospital for three years has found her time in the UK to be a positive experience, adding: "I came here because there are more courses on offer and the standard of living is better. …

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