14 June 2013
Nurses from Madeira are set to be employed at the General Hospital as part of a recruitment drive for nursing staff in Jersey.
The proposed recruitment of experienced, qualified nurses from Madeira is part of the ongoing drive to fill nursing vacancies. This overall drive includes the recruitment of newly-qualified nurses, both locally and from the UK, plus on-Island training opportunities via the University of Chester.
The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, and Sir Michael Birt, Bailiff of Jersey, are currently in Madeira on an official visit to strengthen the friendly agreement between the two islands, which was formed in 1998.
One of the opportunities highlighted during talks was a greater link with regards to qualified nursing staff. Jersey currently has vacancies and Madeira has nurses looking to work abroad, who may be recruited at the General Hospital alongside newly-qualified nurses from Jersey and the UK.
With an established Portuguese / Madeiran community and good transport links, Jersey would be an attractive workplace for Madeiran nurses. Helen O'Shea, Hospital Managing Director, was a member of the Jersey delegation and visited nursing schools and hospitals in Madeira to discuss possible opportunities.
It is likely that Jersey will be able to benefit through experienced Madeiran nurses coming to work in the Island; additionally, final-year nursing students from Madeira will have the opportunity to spend their work experience placement in Jersey, after which they would have the chance to apply for suitable vacancies.
The Health and Social Services Minister, Deputy Anne Pryke said she was very pleased about the productive outcome of this week’s talks.
“We’re very pleased that the discussions have highlighted the benefits to both islands from the exchange of nurses,” she said. “Recruitment and retention of a highly skilled nursing workforce is essential to the future of healthcare in the Island. Jersey has nursing vacancies that need to be filled now; we also need to be planning for the future, and there is a series of measures in place to address this.
“We have already announced the opportunity for local nurse training through the new university-standard nursing degree which will be available, in conjunction with the University of Chester, from September this year, and the recruitment from Madeira will be another significant element of the recruitment drive.”
Mrs O’Shea met a number of nurses in Madeira as part of this week’s talks.
“I was very impressed with the calibre of candidates who could potentially work in Jersey,” she said. “Our priority is to recruit and retain professional nurses in order to carry on meeting Jersey’s healthcare needs.”