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Concerns flagged over exploitation and poor treatment of overseas nurses

A “shocking” number of nurses from overseas are winding up “in trouble” or sanctioned within their first few months of working in the UK partly because of a lack of induction and support, a conference has heard.

The issue was raised during a panel session at the Unison health conference in April discussing the importance of ethical recruitment practices in nursing and midwifery.

According to Unison, it is supporting “many” overseas nurses who have been “exploited, unfairly treated and subject to racism” since their move.

Among the panel was Gamu Nyasoro, a clinical skills and simulation nurse manager in the NHS and an elected member of Unison’s nursing and midwifery occupational group committee.

Ms Nyasoro, who is from Zimbabwe and has been working in the NHS for the past two decades, said she herself had been discriminated against and had faced several challenges during her migration.

She raised concern that overseas nurses were not given enough information about how to live and work in the UK, including about how to access healthcare services themselves, or about country specific rules and regulations.

There was also the issue that UK employers “don’t look at their skills beforehand”, which means nurses were being put in roles or areas they were not confident in.

She cited examples of staff who had been specialising in neonatal services before moving, who were then being asked to work with older people, and those who had been practising as a midwife in their home nations and then being required to work in emergency departments in the UK.

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Source: Nursing Times, 28 April 2022


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