An innovative project to attract medically qualified refugees back into healthcare roles at a West Midlands NHS trust has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.
The Health Overseas Professionals (HOP) programme is run by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.
It provides training in the English language for refugees and work with individuals on how they can resume their medical careers, whilst putting much needed resource back into the local NHS.
Now the Trust’s Learning Works team, which has been running the programme, has been shortlisted for the Mills & Reeve most effective use of diversity gong in the HPMA (Healthcare People Management Association) Excellence Awards.
HOP follows the successful skills matching project, USE-IT!, which was piloted by the Trust nearly two years ago
Raffaela Goodby, Director of People and Organisation Development, said: “We are really pleased to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.
“HOP is an innovative programme that harnesses the skills and expertise already in our local communities, and has been successful in developing partnerships to ensure that the overseas healthcare professionals, some whom are refugees, are able to practice in the NHS with the right support and guidance.
“Since introducing USE-IT! and HOP, we have successfully matched more than 200 people into healthcare roles and placements across the area. Examples include GPs, nurses, pharmacists and even highly trained medical and surgical consultants.”
The project has also attracted the attention of MP John Spellar, who recently visited the Learning Works in Smethwick to find out more about the scheme.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Manchester on June 6.