Epsom and St Helier hospitals have bolstered the number of nurses, midwives and doctors on the wards, following a highly successful recruitment drive that has secured a full complement of midwives.
With around 220 qualified midwives already in place at the trust, the addition of over 20 more sees all the midwifery positions at the trust recruited to. The ongoing recruitment drive has also seen over 300 new nurses join the team from the local area, as well as from as far afield as Croatia, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Kevin Croft, Director of People and Organisational Development, said the recruitment drive was instrumental to the success of the trust over the coming years: “We are absolutely committed to making sure that the patients in our hospitals continue receiving the quality of healthcare that they deserve. Ensuring adequate and safe staffing levels by recruiting the very best person for the role every time is instrumental to ensuring that we achieve this goal.”
Sally Sivas, Head of Midwifery and Nursing for Women’s Health, is particularly proud of the new midwives. She said: "We're committed to offering each and every new parent the very best possible care, and having such a strong, large team is just one of the ways we can help to make sure we stay true to that commitment.
“Our maternity services are also committed to ensuring that all women have one-to-one care with a midwife in labour; something we are able to achieve through our two new birth centres based on both sites.
"Bringing a baby into the world is an amazing experience and we need to make sure mum, dad and baby (or babies if it's twins or above) get all of the attention they need.
"Over the next two months our new recruits will join a team of dedicated midwives who have a passion for excellence in midwifery care. One of the big attractions to joining our trust is that we have developed a bespoke midwifery training package which ensures that every midwife is educated on midwifery skills and drills every year. We also have two consultant midwives and are about to appoint a third."
One of the first members of staff to join the trust in the wave of new nursing recruits was Ana Sofia Pinto De Almeida, a 23-year old nurse from Ovar, Portugal, who began working as a staff nurse on the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) in October 2014. After excelling in her work, Ana has already been offered an interim Deputy Ward Manager position on AMU – a role she was happy to take on: “I’m delighted to have been offered my interim management position. It’s a bit of a challenge, but it’s a welcome one; importantly, I am still able to spend time with patients and make sure that they receive the very best care possible.
“I’ve been here for less than a year now, but already I really feel like this is home. Everybody I work with is so nice that any nerves I had about moving to England were calmed very quickly after I started at St Helier.”
Ana explained what it was that had brought her into her work as a nurse: “Since I was eleven, I wanted to be an astronaut, but that would have meant I would have to spend my life in the USA. Then I wanted to be an architect, but that would have meant I would have to spend half my life at university. Then, when my grandfather had a fall, I realised I wanted to be a nurse – that would mean I could spend my life helping people.
“At fifteen, I spent some time in England doing an actors’ internship in London with school – I never thought that one day I could live here in London! Working here means I am able to contribute towards making sure that our patients get the help that they deserve. For me, that’s the best sense of work satisfaction I could wish for.”
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