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Celebrating our overseas colleagues - Overseas NHS Workers Day, Friday 3 March

The NHS has benefitted from and always been supported by its overseas workers. Since day one, those from overseas have contributed to all aspects of the health service which represents a cornerstone of the public sector.

Our overseas colleagues play an important role in providing services, working across the entire organisation in numerous areas, both at West Suffolk Hospital and in the community.

To mark this year’s Overseas NHS Workers Day on Friday, 3 March, the Trust is recognising the diversity of its overseas workers.

Claire Sorenson, deputy director or workforce – HR and people services, said: “Coming from all parts of the world, our valued and highly skilled overseas colleagues are a key part of the fabric of our Trust – making it a great place to work, and our local communities a more diverse and unique place to live. Of a workforce comprised of more than 5,000 people, approximately 1,000 of those originate from almost 80 different countries, they are a core part of every service we deliver and how your local NHS services are run.”

Physiotherapist, Obair from Bangalore in India, has recently joined the Trust. Arriving on Christmas Day in 2022, Obair, said: “I really love it. I love the scenery and I have travelled around by bus and the area is beautiful.

“From the very day I started, my manager and everyone was very supportive and very kind. I really didn’t expect the Trust to be this nice and so kind. My plan is to stay here for a very long time.”

The Trust has recently been given the NHS Pastoral Care Quality award – making it one of the first in the east of England to do so - for its work to support nurses who joined from overseas. Anyone from overseas, whether already in the UK or living abroad, can apply for a wide range of roles available across the organisation.

Lily, a nursing assistant who joined the Trust from Hong Kong just over a year ago, said: “All the doctors, nurses and patients are really friendly. My brother works as a pharmacist at West Suffolk Hospital as well and I plan to stay here in west Suffolk.”

Kaushik, a consultant anaesthetist in the intensive care unit at West Suffolk Hospital from Assam in India, said: “My experience in the NHS has always been in the east of England. I have always felt very welcome in the Trust. I was a trainee here and that’s why I joined the Trust again as a consultant as it’s very welcoming for all ethnicities and all backgrounds.

“A reason to join west Suffolk is that everyone’s nice, they know each other and smile at each other compared to a larger hospital. People coming from outside can feel lost, where here you don’t find that. People who are new international graduates or from nursing or other healthcare backgrounds will feel at home here, as there are people to ask if they have a problem and people are very forthcoming in helping them.”

Claire Sorenson added: “We have international recruitment programmes for nursing, allied health professionals and midwifery and across our junior doctor and consultant teams, as well as overseas staff working in a variety of other roles. We welcome our overseas colleagues and their contribution to our Trust cannot be underestimated. There is always a wide variety of roles available in a diverse range of careers here and I would recommend the NHS to anyone looking for a rewarding career.”

Watch the video below to learn about more of our overseas workers:


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Left to right: Obair, Lily and Kaushik

Left to right: Obair, Lily and Kaushik