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Carer’s Invitation to Minister Over Staff

A North Yorkshire care provider has sent an invitation to a Government minister to come and see how they are already doing what she suggests to tackle chronic staff shortages.

Social Care Minister Helen Whately has urged care providers to recruit staff from overseas to help fill the 165,000 staff vacancies in the sector.

But the owners of Saint Cecilia’s Care Group in North Yorkshire say that is exactly what they are already doing.

Saint Cecilia’s has employed 20 staff from India, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Nigeria since September and has plans to bring over a further seven.

Speaking to a conference last week, the Minister told care providers to “spread the word” and “give it a go” and hire overseas workers for care homes.

Saint Cecilia’s Managing Director Mike Padgham said: “It was good to see that we are on the same page as the Minister over employing overseas staff as that is exactly what we are already doing, to great effect.

“It was slow and challenging to get the licenses needed in the first place last year but since we overcame that bureaucracy it has been extremely worthwhile and we now have new overseas staff who have settled in well and, hopefully, more to come.

“We would love the minister to come and visit any of our homes in Scarborough, Pickering or Whitby to see for herself how it is working successfully.”

Six of those recruited so far have been nurses, which are in extremely short supply for care providers in the UK.

Saint Cecilia’s overseas nursing recruitment has been helped by a ground-breaking partnership with York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Saint Cecilia’s needed to move quickly once it had the necessary licences in place to enable it to recruit from overseas.

Drawing on the previous experience the Trust had in recruiting via these channels has saved the care group countless hours and streamlined the process enormously.

A pilot scheme – to enable social care providers to access health trust facilities for staff to study for and take their Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – has been a lifeline for Saint Cecilia’s and for the nurses it has recruited.

“This has been partnership working at its best,” Mr Padgham added. “The partnership with the NHS trust helped us get staff through the OCSE process and aided our overall journey to recruit nursing staff from overseas quickly and efficiently. We are indebted to the Trust for their support.”

 

 
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