OVERSEAS nurses have arrived at Forth Valley Royal Hospital as part of an international recruitment programme.

The six nurses, who have previously worked at hospitals in the Kerala state of India, bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, thanks to a Scottish Government initiative to support service delivery.

The recruits will be joined by a further seven nurses from India and Zimbabwe who are due to arrive in May.

Louise Boyle, interim chief nurse at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, welcomed the recruits recently on their first day.

She said: “We have had considerable success in recent years in attracting newly qualified nursing staff to join us, however, it’s also important to look beyond the established recruitment routes to help us enhance our nursing workforce.

“We are delighted to welcome these new nurses to NHS Forth Valley and I, along with senior nursing colleagues across the hospital, will be doing everything we can to make them feel at home over the coming weeks and months.”

The nurses, who have experience in a number of areas including intensive care and surgical wards, will undergo a full induction programme.

They will also receive ongoing support to help settle into their jobs and lives in Scotland, having been offered permanent posts.

Rahana Babu, who will be working in one of the surgical wards at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, said: “Despite having family in England, I was really keen to come to Scotland to work as the people are really friendly and I felt I would have greater opportunities to learn and develop my nursing career.”

One of the other recruits, Huldha Pandian, explained she had already heard a lot about the hospital in nearby Larbert, including its famous fleet of robots which make deliveries and carry out day-to-day tasks.

She said: “I thought Forth Valley would be a really nice place to live and work and I’m looking forward to gaining experience working in different wards and finding out more about the hospital and the use of technology to improve patient care.”