Nurses thanked for 10 years of hard work -Ten years ago, 51 highly-trained nurses left the Philippines to come to work in Craigavon Area Hospital.

In doing so, they were following in the footsteps of other Filipino nurses who came to work in hospitals in Belfast.

30 of the original Filipino nurses who came in 2002 are still working in Craigavon Area Hospital and the Southern Trust is keen to acknowledge the significant contribution they have made over the last decade.

Mrs Mary Burke, Trust Acting Assistant Director of Medicine & Unscheduled Care was one of those involved in ensuring the overseas nurses settled into their new life in Craigavon.

Mary explains how the overseas nurses came to be in Craigavon: “In 2002, Craigavon Hospital staff travelled to the Philippines to meet with and select the Filipino nurses who would come to work here. There was a shortage of nurses and these highly-trained Filipino nurses were very much needed.”

Mary added: “It obviously took a bit of time for them to acclimatise to a new culture with different food, weather, language and we did everything possible to make it easier for them to settle in, especially in the early days.

“They adapted very quickly to their new surroundings and quickly became essential to the smooth running of the hospital. They have integrated well into the wider community and have been welcomed by the vast majority of local people. Their work is greatly appreciated by both staff and patients in the Hospital.”

Dr Gillian Rankin, Southern Trust Director of Acute Services said: “These nurses are highly-valued members of staff – an integral part of the hospital and I want to thank them for the excellent contribution they have made in the last ten years.”

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