WhatsApp group helps international midwives settle into North East life and work

Picture of five midwives
The five recruits will work at hospitals in Durham and Darlington. Credit: County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.

Five midwives have arrived in the North East as part of a recruitment drive by an NHS trust.

The young women will be part of the maternity teams at hospitals in Durham and Darlington.

Four of the midwives are from Nigeria with a fifth from Ghana.

The group has been recruited by County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust which says it has worked hard to ensure the new workers are supported as they build their careers here.

That included the setting up of a WhatsApp group before their arrival, so all five could get to know each other and prepare for life in the region.

The women - Chioma Chukwu, Mary Oluwafemi, Khadijat Mamud and Sandra Yusifand and Esther Boateng - will receive training in York before taking clinical exams to enable them to work in UK hospitals.

The women are the second group of midwives to be attracted to the region this year by the trust.

Those in the first group have now passed clinical exams and have started work.

Maternity services at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust were rated as inadequate in September 2023. Credit: PA

In September 2023, the Care Quality Commission rated the maternity service run by County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust as inadequate following an inspection six months previously.

In a statement released at the time, the trust Chief Executive Sue Jacques said work was already underway to make improvements.

Ms Jacques acknowledged the twin challenges of 'high demand and staffing pressures' and said teams were committed to providing a 'safe, compassionate and supported experience.'

Speaking about the arrival of the new midwives, Executive Director of Nursing Noel Scanlon said: “We’re thrilled they are here and eager to support our maternity colleagues to provide safe, compassionate and joined-up care for our patients."

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