The importance of Pastoral Care in International Nurse Recruitment

04 September 2022 By Cliona O'Gara

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Ensuring Nurses are prepared for working and living in the UK, and receive appropriate support after they arrive, are essential parts of a successful International Recruitment Programme.

The Current Context

International recruitment continues to be a key focus in helping the NHS to meet increasing workforce demand. In the year to March 31st 2022, 22,745people from outside the EU / EEA joined the NMC Register from outside the EEA, up from 9152 the previous year . Despite this, there are still 38,792 nurse vacancies in the NHS (a vacancy rate of 10%). The Government has pledged to have 50,000 more Nurses in the NHS by 2024/25.

In this context, it has never been more important to get your international recruitment strategy right the first time. There are numerous examples of how, despite COVID-19-related travel bans, quarantine and disruptions, organisations have demonstrated real success in ensuring the safe arrival of Nurses to the UK and Northern Ireland (NI). As a leading global provider of International Workforce Solutions, TTM Healthcare Solutions (TTM) can help organisations create the optimum package for candidates including good quality, effective Pastoral support. TTM is partnered with several NHS and Private customers in delivering Pastoral care to Nurses, Doctors, and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs). Over the course of the COVID Pandemic, TTM worked with our NHS partner Trusts to deliver over 1500 international nurses, doctors and AHP’s and is on track to deliver 2000 Nurses to the NHS in 2022.

Identifying the key elements of successful Pastoral Care

TTM views pastoral care as a structured programme of support which begins at the point a Nurse accepts their offer through to their safe arrival to the UK or Northern Ireland (NI). Ensuring candidates are looked after and supported, our pastoral care continues for 12 months post-placement.

Many of TTM’s NHS partners avail of this support for their candidates, 12 months post-arrival. The main reasoning for this has been outlined below:
Increased, ongoing candidate engagement
Preparation for living in UK/NI
Efficient arrival to the UK/NI
Ensuring a worry/stress-free transition
Welcoming candidates, upon arrival
Reducing accommodation-related worry
Supporting the practicalities of working in the UK/NI
Ensuring candidates are happy/supported/assured
Candidates realise their full potential
Increased retention rates

Read more about how TTM’s partner organisations deliver great pastoral care.

The future of Pastoral care-what next?

TTM’s International Workforce Solutions constantly look at ways to add value to our clients in terms of service offering to enhance pastoral support.

The future of Pastoral care-Social Value

Many NHS Trusts are actively addressing Social Value and asking themselves how they and their suppliers support the communities and localities they operate in. This will impact Pastoral Support in many ways including an increased focus on delivering Pastoral Care with Carbon Neutrality, Community Support & Involvement & Active Citizenship in mind. Find out moreabout how TTM worked with MKUH in developing a Green Welcome Pack for our Nurses.

The future of Pastoral care-OSCE Preparation online

TTM International Workforce Solutions now offers a fully online OSCE Part 2 TOC Preparation programme which nurses can commence in-country after they have accepted their offer, reducing the impact on local onboarding induction and training teams upon arrival and continuing up to their OSCE Part 2 Test. This self-paced and intuitive programme comprises 6 weeks of videos, slides and reading material, which the Nurses can access on any smartphone or computer. Part of the package includes weekly live support from a qualified Nurse and OSCE Trainer.

The future of pastoral care-NHS Pastoral Care Awards

Launched in March 2022 by the Nursing International Recruitment Programme, the NHS Pastoral Care Quality award is a scheme that supports NHS trusts to provide high-quality pastoral care to internationally educated nurses and midwives. TTM welcomes this new award scheme, which puts the importance of pastoral support on the national agenda.

For more information, please visit TTM’’s website, or download their latest Report on Pastoral Care Insights.