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The work of NHS Western Isles, along with that of NHS Grampian, Highland, Orkney, and Shetland has been recognised through the NHS Scotland Pastoral Care Quality Award (PCQA). 

This award acknowledges the dedication to delivering high-quality pastoral care support to internationally recruited staff throughout their recruitment process and employment journey.

The award was achieved through the successful engagement of all health boards within the collaboration, who demonstrated hard work and dedication to supporting the delivery of pastoral care to international recruits.

The NHS relies on workers from overseas to be able to provide care to everyone who needs it.

Living and serving in a foreign country can be difficult, considering the additional stress of visa issues, red tape, and missing out on life with family and friends at home.

The safe arrival, induction, and provision of support for new people joining the NHS workforce is the number one priority for international recruitment. The focus on enhanced pastoral care positively influences recruitment and retention, providing a supportive workplace culture and enhancing staff wellbeing. 

By achieving the award, NHS Western Isles has demonstrated a commitment to supporting internationally educated staff at every stage of their recruitment and beyond. 

Diane Macdonald, Director of Human Resources & Workforce Development, NHS Western Isles, said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition for the high standard of support we provide to international recruits. Moving to a new country is a huge change, particularly to a remote island location, and we are very proud of the welcome that has been provided. 

“We have been able to offer tailored support to allow recruits to settle and we value the diversity and different experience that international recruits bring to our health care system. It is very rewarding to see staff and their families settle in the Western Isles and contribute to our community and healthcare system.”

To achieve the award, Health Boards must meet a set of standards for best practice pastoral care, which have been co-developed with the Centre for Workforce Supply in NHS Education for Scotland, International Recruitment leads, The Scottish Government and the NHSScotland Academy.

Pictured are members of staff with the award, L-R: Jane Macdonald, Radiology Manager; Maureen Ifenna-Muokanne, Radiographer; Mira Ostrowska, Medical Staffing Officer; Diane Macdonald, Director of Human Resources & Workforce Development