This article was taken from: https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/people/hospitals-in-leeds-welcome-jamaican-nurses-onto-wards-1-9889405
By Alison Bellamy
A GROUP of 15 nurses from the Caribbean sunshine isle of Jamaica have joined hospital wards in Leeds, as part of a special international project.
The nurses – also called global learning practitioners – have joined the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, as part of a pilot scheme with Health Education England and the Jamaican Ministry of Health.
The nurses will undertake a critical care education programme over five months to enhance their skills, enable them to implement positive changes back in Jamaica and eventually allow the Jamaican Ministry of Health to open up more critical care beds.
The nurses are already proving to be a welcome addition on the wards.
Kimberly Reid-Ferro, 28, who is on Ward L06, comes from St Thomas in Jamaica.
She said: “Coming on this journey was initially a struggle having to leave my family, but when I have received such a warm welcome and appreciation from the Leeds Trust staff, things have started to lighten up.
“I have been working on L06 so far and trust me, they are like family. On my first day I worked with Keren, she was such a sweetheart. She took really good care of me. Denise is my other mentor and she is like an angel. She looks after me very well. I am having a wonderful time with my new ICU family, just like I am used to back home.”
The project comes as Leeds is celebrating its own Jamaican heritage with the Eulogy Project, overseen by the Jamaica Society Leeds.
It is commemorating the lives, journeys and heritage of first generation Jamaicans and has heard some incredible stories from people keen to share their experiences.
The YEP previously heard from retired nurses, who came to Leeds in the 1960s from Jamaica to ease the nursing crisis, who told about their time on hospital wards.
The older nurses met up with the newcomers on arrival in Leeds, at an official welcome party.
The new hospital partnership aims to create a long-lasting relationship between the UK and Jamaica, whilst globally showcasing the outstanding critical care that Leeds Teaching Hospitals provides.
The nurses have also been spending time within the community to get to know the city and experience the sights and sounds of Leeds.
Monique Patrick, 25, comes from Clarendon in Jamaica. She is working on Ward L43 and added: “It’s been an awesome experience so far. Staff on the NICU are warm and welcoming. They are always willing to teach us something new and also eager to learn from us too.”
Tracey Collins, head of global nursing at Health Education England, said: “This will hopefully be a mutually-beneficial relationship with the Jamaican government that will see nurses from the Caribbean further develop their skills. Our staff may also travel to Jamaica to provide support for the nursing workforce there.”
The Jamaican nurses will work in Leeds hospital for five months as ‘global learning practitioners’.
They have joined the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust as part of a pilot scheme with Health Education England and the Jamaican Ministry of Health.
The nursing staff will be working across both adult and paediatric Critical Care Units where they will work with multi-disciplinary teams and then take vital skills back to Jamaica.