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Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf MSP, visited the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy today (07 March 2022) to personally welcome a group of new international nursing recruits to Scotland and Fife.

Kesia Chandy and Shincy Raju, both from India, and Eric Bautista from the Philippines have taken up permanent roles as staff nurses with NHS Fife at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy. Both Eric and Shincy arrived in Fife after leaving nursing roles in the United Arab Emirates, taking up positions within theatres and intensive care respectively. Kesia joins from her home country of India and will also be working in the Intensive Care Unit.

Eric Bautista said of taking up his new role in Fife:

“It was obviously a big decision to move to Scotland but it felt like a really good opportunity, and one I didn’t want to miss. I’m really enjoying it so far and everyone has been so welcoming to us since we arrived.

“The hospital here is quite different from others I have worked in but I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can in the weeks to come, and getting used how things are done here so that I can become an important part of the nursing team on the ward. “

The new recruits are part of a wider project to enhance and expand NHS Fife’s nursing workforce, with Fife becoming the first Health Board in Scotland to welcome international recruits into the workforce as part of a partnership with Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. This partnership will see the recruitment of up to 40 registered nurses joining NHS Fife in the coming months.

After achieving significant successes in their own international recruitment efforts, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have become specialists in attracting experienced nursing staff from overseas to a range of clinical roles in the NHS through their innovative and World Health Organisation compliant programme.

While the first cohort of international recruits in Fife are taking up posts within the acute hospital, some of those nurses joining through the partnership programme will also take up community nursing roles in the Kingdom.

As part of the international induction programme the new recruits are provided with a package of support from NHS Fife including access to nursing accommodation, orientation tours and pastoral care to help them settle well into life in Scotland.

The new staff will initially work in supporting roles for a period of around 12 weeks ahead of completing their objective structed clinical examination test (OSCE), which allows the group to become UK registered nurses with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The programme will also see as many as three qualified radiographers recruited internationally to posts in Fife over the coming year. 

NHS Fife’s Director of Nursing, Janette Owens, also met with the new recruits and said:

“The recruitment of clinical staff is vital in helping us to provide the best possible care to patients here in Fife.

“We have had considerable success in recent years in attracting newly qualified nursing staff to join us, however, it’s important also that we look beyond the established recruitment routes to help us enhance our nursing workforce.

“Having Shincy, Eric and Kesia join us is really pleasing and they each bring considerable knowledge and expertise to their respective roles. We will continue to support them over the coming months as they settle into life in Scotland, and we look forward to welcoming many more nursing recruits from overseas in the weeks and months to come.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“I’m delighted to meet NHS Fife’s new international nursing recruits, who will bring valuable skills and experience to help provide the best possible healthcare to patients.

“With NHS Scotland’s workforce at a record high, the Scottish Government is supporting health boards with funding to fill key roles as we continue to recover from the pandemic - including £4.5 million this financial year to support the ethical international recruitment of registered nurses - and I wish Kesia, Shincy and Eric well as they join the hard-working and professional team in Fife.”

Notes to Editors:

For more information on the Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s international recruitment programme, visit: