Latest News

Filipino nurses have been helping hospital patients for 20 years

International filipino nurses on renal hill

A group of overseas nurses are celebrating their 20-year anniversary at Basildon Hospital on International Nurses’ Day (Thursday 12 May).

In May 2002, 90 ambitious nurses travelled to Basildon from the Philippines to start exciting new careers in the NHS.

Some have gone into management and others the clinical side of nursing, all thriving in a range of different roles including matrons, senior sisters, unit managers, deputy managers and nurse practitioners, and all having a huge positive impact on patient care.

One of those original 90 was Niel F.Pelaez, who still works at the hospital and is now a nurse practitioner on the surgical ambulatory care unit.

He said: “We are very thankful for this life-changing opportunity that Basildon Hospital has given us - not only for ourselves but also for our families in the Philippines. It has really allowed us to have a better life.

“Nursing is a dynamic profession; it is still evolving and we never stop learning. Some of us are even looking at going into further studies to complete a Master’s degree in nursing.”

Niel now calls Basildon his home and has nothing but positive things to say about the experience and the friends he has made.

“When we got here we felt so supported by Basildon Hospital. Our accommodation, food and financial allowance were all ready for us, which made a huge difference.

“Most of us lived in the Province of the Philippines, so after waving goodbye to our family we had a 12-hour bus journey to reach the capital Manila to process our travel documents and visas, and then catch a flight to the UK.”

There are more than 20 of those original Filipino nurses still working at the Trust, with many of them completing their mentorship training. This means they have come full circle and now mentor and support new groups of overseas nurses joining Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, giving them the same warm welcome they were given two decades ago.

Dawn Patience, director of nursing, said: “When the nurses arrived in the UK I was a ward manager and supported the nurses in their programmes. They really have a fabulous supportive community, and I am proud to say they are a dedicated and essential part of our very own nursing community at the Trust. Here’s to the next 20 years.”

We have placed cookies on your computer to help us make this website better. If you want to block cookies, you can visit our cookie policy page. By continuing to use our website, we’ll assume you agree to the cookie policy we have described and are happy to use our website.

Please choose a setting: