Foreign midwives recruited by Romford hospital ‘quit after training’

Staff at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust have criticised newly recruited midwives from abroad for leaving shortly after completing their training.

The workers at the trust, which runs Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, have complained to managers about the midwives from Italy and Ireland.

The complaints were revealed in the minutes of the trust’s last board meeting.

‘Source of concern’

They state that during a walk around staff spoke to the director of operations and the chairman and “raised the recruitment of midwives from Ireland and Italy and the fact that the trust had taken them through the process to get them up to standard and then, fairly shortly after that, they had left” and staff asked what could be done to address this.


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In 2010, the trust took on 46 foreign midwives in addition to UK midwives to fill staff shortages.

All the midwives passed extensive tests and interviews and were given a thorough induction to the trust, but 17 of these midwives have now left.

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The report also says that when the matter was raised with the trust’s director of nursing, Deborah Wheeler, she said that the “trust was looking at the agency terms and changing them from three months at present to six months”.

The trust has one of the best midwife to birth ratios in London, with one midwife to every 29 births.

Ms Wheeler told the Recorder: “We have had great success in recruiting midwives to the Trust.

“Just this week we interviewed 40 trained midwives for positions at Queen’s and King George.

“Towards the end of 2010 the trust travelled abroad to recruit experienced foreign midwives to the organisations.

“Seventeen of the 46 midwives that were taken on have since left the organisation, while the majority continue to work for the trust and have proven to be real asset to the organisation.”

The trust could not say how much the departures had cost.

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