Ancy Thomas has come to the UK to enhance her profAncy Thomas (2).JPGessional career.

She is originally from Kerala in Southern India, where she lived with her husband, Sanil Sam, and her in laws.

She said: “I did my education in Kerala and I got my bachelor degree from Mangalore.

“I have worked in Pune, India and Saudi Arabia for four years and then I went back to Kerala.

“I have seven years’ experience in the coronary care unit where I was given opportunities to enhance my critical care skills.

“In India, there are lots of opportunities for nurses, but no support for career enhancement. Because I worked in Saudi, they provided different training to improve my skills and career enhancement.”

After hearing about the opportunities in the UK, Ancy decided to take the plunge and make the move.

She said: “I want to enhance my personal and professional life. I like Carlisle because it is a beautiful place with a calm and quiet environment where a family can settle and fulfil their dreams.”

For the past few weeks, Ancy has been training in Crewe and completing her OSCE exams.

She said: “Initially, I thought the the training was a little bit difficult for me to complete in the time limit but it was professional and relaxed, well presented and explained. It will be useful.”

Ancy, 30, is looking forward to meeting her new work colleagues and being part of the NCIC family.

She said: “I am looking forward to the new career experiences and to getting to know everyone.

“I miss my family and friends but they were happy about my new job in the UK. I hope I will be happy here and soon my husband will join me and I would like to have a baby in the future.”

Ancy plans to rent a house in the near future. She said: “I love gardening and I like buying indoor and outdoor plants. I also enjoy cooking and if I am stressed I dance. I also make time each day for worship. That is mandatory in my life.”

Deepa Pillai, 37, is also coming to NCIC to enhance herDeepa Pillai.JPG career prospects.

She is also from Kerala in India where she lives with her husband, six-year-old son and her mother-in-law.

Deepa has also worked in Saudi Arabia as well as Northern India.

She said: “India provides excellent opportunities for the nurses to enhance their career, but with limited resources.

“I worked in CCU and cardiac surgery. Saudi Arabia has technical support to help with nursing easier compared to India.

“My Saudi experience made me confident enough to handle cardiac surgery post-operative patients; thus I am bold enough to handle any critical emergencies in professional as well personal life.”

Deepa decided to find out about nursing opportunities in the UK because she wants to develop her career.

She said: “One of the state recruitment agencies (ODEPC) for nurses is near my hometown. They guided me through my journey. I googled about nursing opportunities and hospitals in the UK and I was eagerly waiting for a chance to come to NCIC. I prefer Carlisle because of its natural beauty along with technical advancement at the hospital.”

Deepa says she is looking forward to working with the “wonderful health care team” at NCIC.

She said: “I am a person who loves to travel a lot. The main thing I miss in India is traveling with my family and friends.

“My family was really happy about my new job in the UK. My son is super excited to come here.

“I have a lot of interests in my life. I like arts and crafts and photography and back home I do a blog in my mother tongue where I share some stories, poems and articles about health.

“I always try to be engaged in something rather than social media in my leisure time. I often do charity work with the help of my husband.”

Doonia Vinod John has joined the Trust from Kerala in IndiaDoonia Vinod John (2).JPG where she worked as a staff nurse and Occupational English Trainer (OET).

She said: “I heard about the opportunities in the UK through my relatives and social media when I started doing my nursing education - that’s why I did OET as soon as I graduated.

“Leaving India was a huge step towards my career but it was worth it. I love the way nurses are treated in the UK. I love the opportunities they get to excel in their profession and how dedicated they are. I always wanted to be an international nurse and I couldn’t find a better place than Carlisle. It is such a beautiful place.”

Doonia has been training in Crewe, prior to arriving in Carlisle.

She said: “I enjoyed every bit of my training and I can’t wait to get started at NCIC and see my colleagues and the wards I am going to be on. I want to make friends and explore. It’s hard to put into words just how excited I am about being in Carlisle and working at the Cumberland Infirmary.

“I miss my friends and family in India but they were very supportive and encouraged me throughout the application process. They have supported me in achieving my dream.

“I like to travel, explore and cook different kinds of dishes in my spare time.”

A group of Indian nurses have arrived in Carlisle to start their new careers working for North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Nine nurses, who arrived in tFirst cohort of indian nurses.jpghe UK from Kerala in India in December, have been doing their Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) training in Crewe.

They arrived in Cumbria last week and have this week started their induction at the Cumberland Infirmary and are getting familiar with the wards they will be working on which includes Willow, Elm, Beech and Larch. The nine are the first cohort of nurses to arrive from India with plans for over a hundred nurses to be in place by the end of the year.  

Anna Stabler, Chief Nurse at NCIC, welcomed the nurses to NCIC. She said: “We are delighted to welcome our first cohort of nurses from India to the Trust, we have put a lot of support in place to ensure they are welcomed and able to settle in the community.”

International recruitment is an option mainly used by employers, like the NHS, trying to fill vacancies in certain geographical areas or professions with recognised skill shortages. International recruitment has been pursued by the Trust as one of the options to address historical staffing issues alongside other local and national routes such as supporting our workforce to train as associate and apprentice nurses.

Amanda Dunkley, head of Workforce Solutions at NCIC, said: “We are always looking at ways in which we can increase nurse numbers. The whole project to bring the nurses to the Trust has been an unbelievable amount of work and I am so pleased to finally see the nurses on their wards today.

“They have arrived in the midst of a pandemic but I am sure they will soon settle in well and make lots of new friends.”

International recruits.jpgAt the end of last year, the Trust appointed Beth Woodhall, Onboarding and Pastoral Support Assistant, to help the nurses settle in.

Beth helps the nurses with shopping, finding accommodation, as well as sorting out their uniforms and IT access.

She said: “All information about living and working in Cumbria is prepared and sent to the nurses as it is needed. 

“The main part of my role at this point is liaising between the nurses and our HR and clinical teams to keep them up to date with what is happening and ensure everyone has the information they need. It is really important that the nurses know who I am and how I can help them with their relocation.”

Beth said the main things the nurses need help with is finding suitable accommodation.

She said: “The rental system is all new to them. I offer support in contacting letting agents, viewing properties and working through the lettings procedure. It’s important for the nurses to familiarise themselves with Carlisle and find out how to get about, where to buy food.”

“We ensure that they receive a welcome package of essentials while they get used to the area and know where to shop.”