Lower patient satisfaction in NHS hospitals with more nurses trained outside UK

Foreign educated nurses need more support to adapt to work in the NHS, according to one of the co-authors of a new study

A new report indicates there is lower patient satisfaction in hospitals that employ more nurses trained abroad.

The research, published in BMJ Open, shows that for every 10% increase in the number of non-UK educated nurses, there was a 12% decrease in the likelihood of patients rating the hospital good or excellent.

The report acknowledged there has been an upturn in hospital recruitment of nurses from outside the UK. 

The study, the first of its kind in the UK, was a collaboration between the University of Southampton, the University of Pennsylvania and King's College London. It links the data from 12,000 patients in 31 NHS trusts across England who completed the 2010 NHS Adult Inpatient Survey with nurse and hospital administrator surveys, including the RN4CAST survey.

The proportion of non-UK educated nurses varied by trust from 1% to 52%.

University of Southampton chair of health services research Peter Griffiths, a co-author of the study, said the reasons for the results of the research were not clear, but it underlined the importance of employers addressing any issues nurses trained abroad may face.

Professor Griffiths said: 'Questions must be raised about the quality of induction programmes for these nurses.

'Employers must also ensure that there is good access to career development, opportunities and appraisals, which we know anecdotally that foreign educated nurses working in the UK may not be getting at the moment.'

RCN general secretary Janet Davies praised the contribution of overseas nurses.

She said: ‘Trusts have a duty to provide the right support and induction to overseas nurses, enabling them to fully adapt to their new working environment.’

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