Maternity workforce boosted at Bedfordshire Hospitals with success of international recruitment programme

Date: 19/01/2023 | Category: Maternity

Maternity workforce boosted at Bedfordshire Hospitals with success of international recruitment programme

Group photo of Maternity staff with esteemed visitors

Bedfordshire Hospitals was commended on our successful international midwife recruitment programme by Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE, NHS England’s Chief Midwifery Officer and Wendy Matthews OBE, NHS England’s Regional Chief Midwife and hailed for the great work we’re doing across the Trust in maternity.

Our incredibly successful international midwifery recruitment programme has allowed us to welcome midwives from Jamaica, Zimbabwe, and Iran to name a few. As part of this programme, the midwives will work across both our hospital sites, contributing to improving the quality of care within maternity for pregnant women/people and their families.

Amongst the 37 midwives who have already arrived at Bedfordshire Hospitals is Theresa Asiedu. Theresa saw and chose to apply for a role at the Trust online, and was successfully recruited into this position. Due to this opportunity, she relocated to England from Ghana in May of last year.

When asked about her experience of navigating a new country, Theresa said: “From the moment our plane landed we have been looked after! The Trust continues to provide guidance and support for us which has only made this experience easier.

Theresa Asiedu

Portia Shanduka

“We, the international midwives, have even built up a small, friendly community. We make our native food for each other to try and as some are expert hair braiders, they kindly offer their services to those who would like it. These are some of the small home comforts we cherish.”

Theresa and Portia (who is originally from Zimbabwe), were two of the midwives invited to spend an evening with Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent.

Portia Shanduka was all smiles as she recalled the evening: “Following her entrance, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent straight away began chatting, mixing and mingling with people and came to sit at our table. We introduced ourselves, took lots of selfies and she proceeded to ask us about our welfare and living conditions. Such a thoughtful, inspirational role model!”

Professor Jacqueline Dunkley – Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer, said: “It was wonderful to see such a welcoming and diverse maternity service at Bedfordshire Hospitals, and I want to personally thank Theresa, Portia and their many colleagues for choosing to join us and bring their skills to the NHS. It was lovely to meet them and hear their stories, and I look forward to seeing their NHS careers blossom at the Trust.”

Emma Hardwick, Director of Midwifery at Bedfordshire Hospitals said: “It was such a pleasure to have Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, NHS England’s Chief Midwifery Officer spend an evening with us all. We are so delighted for our midwifery colleagues from overseas to have chosen to come and work with us in our maternity units at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. They are extremely talented and experienced professionals and are making such a difference as part of our maternity teams.”