Solomon Oteng and Nisha Thomas, the latest overseas nurses to join Balhousie Care Group, have just received news of passing their OSCEs – Objective Structured Clinical Examinations.

These are practical exams for nurses trained outside of Europe, to test theoretical knowledge for clinical practice in the UK.

Solomon’s trip to Scotland is his first overseas.

Solomon, pictured opposite in his new flat in Perth, is Ghanaian and works at Balhousie Pitlochry. Nisha, pictured in main image with colleague Tatiana, is Indian and works at Balhousie Wheatlands in Bonnybridge.

Both arrived in Scotland in June. For Solomon it was not only his first time traveling abroad, but his first time on an aeroplane. They are joined in this latest overseas nurse intake by Amanda Mensah, also from Ghana.

Amanda arrived in Scotland last week, exhausted after a long flight but excited to meet her new colleagues at Balhousie Antiquary in Arbroath. Fellow nurse Sheryl and resident Beatrice Gerrard were there to greet her, with Beatrice determined to wear her Scotland T-shirt!

Balhousie’s People Services team has been working hard to secure accommodation for the nurses and help them get settled in Scotland. That includes a gift bag including some tastes of Scotland with Scottish sweets and Irn Bru!

Amanda, left, with nurse Sheryl and resident Beatrice Gerrard at Balhousie Antiquary.

Balhousie, which is on a major overseas recruitment drive, has been working with two external partners who helped bring over the first of the latest tranche of intakes in January this year. There are currently overseas nurses at Balhousie Alastrean in Tarland, Aberdeenshire, Balhousie Forth View in Methil, Balhousie Huntly and Balhousie Rumbling Bridge.

Balhousie’s move follows a change in 2021 to the UK Government’s code of practice for international recruitment, meaning British employers are now able to recruit health and social care staff from more than 100 additional countries than before.

Balhousie’s People Services team has expanded in order to deal with its overseas drive, which entails obtaining certificates of sponsorship and liaising with the Home Office over the nurses’ employment status, as well as arranging their OSCE exams and getting them their nursing PIN or personal registration number. Helping with sourcing and furnishing accommodation is also part of the People Services team’s job.

Jordan Russell, Resourcing Manager with Balhousie Care Group, said: “Nurses are in short supply across the whole health and social care sector in the UK so it was important we added to our pool of candidates by extending our search to overseas. This is a huge move for many of them, which means supporting our overseas nurses as they adjust to their new Balhousie ‘family’ and life in Scotland.”