In November 2017, NHS Grampian attended nursing job fairs in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane organised by global healthcare talent marketing company, HST, alongside four other NHS Trusts including King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospital Southampton.

NHS Grampian made a total of 49 job offers to nurses while in Australia with a further 110 candidates interested in joining the Health Board.

Caroline Hiscox, Deputy Director of Nursing and Midwifery at NHS Grampian, said: “We are thrilled, it has been a huge success in many ways.

That’s not just about the recruitment results, which exceeded all expectations, but also in the learning gained by visiting some hospitals there which had previously struggled with recruitment and have successfully turned that around.

“In the end, we interviewed 170 people and we have been able to offer 49 nursing positions so far. It’s still early in the recruitment process and obviously moving to the other side of the globe is a big step but, as things stand, 20 people have firm plans in place and will join us over the next few months. We expect those numbers to climb even further.”

NHS Grampian was heavily criticised at the time for sending a delegation to Australia, at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds to the taxpayer.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Health Board justified the trip saying “We have used recruitment agencies overseas previously. This is an extremely expensive option and attending a number of events over a comparatively short period of time may prove to be better value for money.”

Stephen McLarnon, Managing Director and Head of Global Markets with HST said “We’re delighted with their success as we know they faced a lot of criticism in the media for trying something different. Caroline and the team should be congratulated for thinking outside the box and showing leadership.”

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