International recruitment drive see’s cottage renovations underway at RJAH – League of Friends

Posted on 3 July 2023

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Three cottages on the grounds of The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) have been revamped and renovated – in a bid to welcome and comfortably house international recruits. 

The specialist orthopaedic hospital in Shropshire has been actively recruiting nurses and other Allied Health Professionals from across Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. 

The recruitment drive came to help tackle waiting list times, which have grown across the country due to the covid-19 pandemic, with the first cohort of international nurses joining the Oswestry-based hospital in October 2021. 

Paul Kavanagh-Fields, Chief Nurse and Patient Safety Officer, was keen to improve the accommodation at the Oswestry-based hospital for those coming to live and work in a new country. 

He said: “RJAH have three cottages that were part of the renovation project to accommodate our international nursing staff, recruited by NHS England. Two cottages were renovated several months ago, which accommodate up to four staff members in each cottage, and both are currently in service. 

“The third cottage being renovated at RJAH is nearing completion, ready to house an additional four international nurses. 

“It provides a comfortable and convenient home for our new recruits as they settle into life in Shropshire and gives them time and space to work out where they want to live in the longer term.” 

NHS England supports the recruitment of nurses coming from overseas and ensures processes are ethical, and that nurses are not being recruited from countries where they have their own shortage of qualified staff. 

The Estates and Facilities department at the hospital have carried out extensive renovation work and prepared the cottages for decoration. The decoration costs have been funded by the League of Friends to RJAH – and cost a total of £5,000. 

Paul added: “We are extremely grateful to the League of Friends Charity for funding the renovation project. We know the difference our nurses make, and we endeavor to support our staff.” 

Renovation work in the cottages includes converting a clinical space into a residential space – whilst complying with safety standards.  

The electrics have been upgraded, plus the cottage has had a fresh coat of paint and new furnishings.  

Victoria Sugden, Charity Director, said: “The Trustees of the League of Friends are pleased to support the recruitment and accommodation of staff at RJAH.   

“Safe, convenient and comfortable accommodation for staff is key to being able to care for our patients well.” 

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