The International Institute of Health Science (IIHS), Sri Lanka’s premier and leading healthcare education institute renowned for producing an eminent and qualified nursing workforce has signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NHS Improvement East England, to provide qualified nurses from Sri Lanka.
Nurses who have completed the University of Coventry, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Nursing Studies and the Open University of Malaysia, Bachelor of Nursing Science (Hons), courses at IIHS are eligible to apply for this programme to support the NHS in delivering quality health and social care services.
NHS Improvement East England is one of seven regional teams commissioned to ensure improved care for patients and provide leadership and support to the wider NHS. In its role, IIHS will ensure nurses are provided high-quality clinical training, required according to NHS standards, including meeting the vital English language competency standards which are necessary as a pre-requisite for the recruitment of overseas nurses.
IIHS together with NHS Improvement East of England will also provide mental health development for nurses, as both institutes strongly believe in the the physical and mental health well-being of recruited nurses.
To-date, IIHS has already directed 70 nurses to the NHS, with further plans to provide approximately 500 nurses in 2022. Additionally, IIHS has begun work on a programme to provide professional care assistants to UK. Recruited overseas nurses upon confirmation have the exciting opportunity to bring their family to the UK as well.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU, Dr. Kithsiri Edirisinghe, Founder CEO of IIHS said, “We are extremely proud of the status that we have achieved today. It has been a difficult journey from inception as we are part of a regulated industry. Despite many challenges, we began a training school for nursing together with support from the Ministry of Health and industry professionals. We have created demand, created value and even trade unions requested that we train their nursing cadre. Beginning with four students, we have now well over 3000 nursing professionals who have advanced from a diploma to graduate level”.
Dr. Edirisinghe added, “We have been working with NHS and have understood the current needs and standards and within a short time have been able to sign this agreement with NHS East of England. We aim to train Sri Lankan nursing professionals while securing job opportunities for them at NHS UK, while also focusing on mental health nursing development and improving this component in Sri Lanka. By providing training, skills and employment opportunities for nurses overseas we are helping to bring much needed revenue to the country”.
In ensuring qualified students pursue satisfying careers and lucrative employment opportunities, IIHS aims to secure the recruitment of 100,000 health care professionals.
Paul Morris, Director of Nursing, James Paget University Hospital and Senior Responsible Officer for International Recruitment in Norfolk and Waveney, said, “It is a great privilege to be here. We represent a wide community of mental health and social enterprises all come together in recruitment of international nurses. What is really impressive since joining and working together with IIHS is although the NHS and IIHS are separated by thousands of miles, our fundamental values are exactly the same. The high quality education and training are outstanding. I am really privileged to be welcomed by you all and excited to begin the next chapter as we start to see Sri Lanka nurses and unregistered professionals working in our care system”.
Notably, despite most internationally affiliated universities increasing their fees due to the dollar depreciation, IIHS reiterating its commitment to the Sri Lankan education sector offers programmes with a massive 80% reduction in course fee.
IIHS reached a milestone this year with the graduation of 2000 healthcare professionals including 500 nurses in 2022 alone. The IIHS Nursing programme has thus far successfully supported and strengthened the Sri Lankan healthcare sector, contributing over 1350 nursing graduates entering the healthcare industry both local and overseas. Moreover, IIHS’s partnership with UK’s Coventry University, offering high quality nursing education provides Sri Lankan and international students multiple study or career opportunities in the United Kingdom and beyond.