Banbury's Horton General Hospital welcomes new Kenyan nurse as part of international agreement​​​​​​​

Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) has become the first NHS Trust to welcome Kenyan nurses as part of an agreement between the UK and Kenya governments.

One of thirteen new Kenyan recruits to Oxford University Hospitals will be based in Banbury's Horton General.
One of thirteen new Kenyan recruits to Oxford University Hospitals will be based in Banbury's Horton General.

Banbury’s Horton General Hospital has welcomed a new recruit who is one of 13 Kenyan nurses now working in Oxfordshire.

The agreement between the UK and Kenyan governments aims to boost the nursing workforce and address the pressures the NHS faces by providing employment opportunities for qualified unemployed Kenyan healthcare workers.

One of the nurses, Julia Mbuthia, said: “My colleagues and I were warmly received by the OUH team and the community of Kenyans in Oxford. Both the team at OUH and fellow Kenyans have helped us settle in and feel at home.

“While in Kenya, I learnt about the difficulties some countries have in recruiting, and I hoped to be part of the solution.

“When the opportunity to join OUH presented itself, I was excited. I took it on because it was a chance for me to be part of one of the leading trusts in the UK. It was also an opportunity for me to learn how healthcare is managed in advanced systems.

“I am grateful to be among the first chosen to serve through the bilateral agreement and change the course of healthcare for generations to come.”

Sam Foster, a chief nursing officer at OUH, said: “It was a real privilege to welcome each and every one of the 13 nurses who have joined us as part of this exciting new programme between the UK and Kenya.

“We are grateful to Julia and the new nurses for joining us, and we are very lucky to have them. Together, they will enhance diversity, introduce new ideas, and boost our nursing workforce.

“We have so much to learn from each other and they will help us deliver compassionate excellence to our patients. I was delighted to welcome them as the newest members of our ‘OneTeamOneOUH’.”

OUH has welcomed around 1,000 international nurses, recruited from locations including India, the Caribbean, and the United States, since the end of 2017.

The NHS has always benefited from overseas recruitment and from nurses joining from other countries to live and work in England. Recruitment from outside of the UK continues to feature as an important part of the workforce supply strategy of NHS organisations.

Health Minister Maria Caulfield said: “I warmly welcome the new nurses who have joined our NHS workforce as part of this partnership with Kenya. The scheme will make the most of UK and Kenyan health expertise and benefit both countries through the exchange of knowledge and training.

“We continue to grow the NHS workforce – with over 4,300 more doctors, and 10,200 more nurses compared to last year, and we are on track to deliver 50,000 more nurses by 2024.

“We have also commissioned NHS England to develop a long-term workforce plan to recruit and support NHS staff while they deliver high quality, safe care to patients and help to bust the COVID-19 backlogs.”