The King's Fund and RCN to conduct biggest survey of international nurses working in London

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One thousand international nurses working in London will be surveyed this week by The King's Fund and the Royal College of Nursing - the biggest ever survey of internationally recruited nurses based in the capital. The findings will be published in the spring of 2005.

The postal survey will focus on internationally recruited nurses' experiences of working in the UK NHS, how long they plan to stay in London and whether they are adequately supported by their employers. The survey is a major strand of a research programme The King's Fund, in partnership with the NHS in London, is carrying out into international NHS recruitment in the capital.

Professor James Buchan, The King's Fund research associate, said:

'It is well documented that health services in London are highly reliant on internationally recruited nurses. But we know much less about these nurses' motivations and career plans. This survey gives them the chance to speak out about their experiences since coming to the UK. This will be valuable information because the NHS - if it is to hope to retain these nurses - will need effective human resources policies in place to ensure equal treatment for this culturally and ethnically diverse workforce.'

Howard Catton, Interim Head of the Policy Unit at the RCN, added:

'The RCN is delighted to collaborate with The King's Fund on this important survey. Nurses from overseas are becoming increasingly important to the provision of healthcare in London and it is vital that we have a better understanding of their experiences; both good and bad. Only then can we start to develop policies to better manage migration to achieve a 'triple win' - for the UK, the individual nurses and the countries they come from.'

Notes to editors

1. For further information on The King's Fund survey and workforce research programme or interviews, please contact The King's Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2585 or 07831 554927.

2. On 15 July 2004 The King's Fund published London Calling? The international recruitment of health workers to the capital, by James Buchan, Renu Jobanputra and Pippa Gough. The report provided case studies of three London NHS hospital trusts and their experiences of recruiting overseas nurses. One hospital featured in the study revealed that one in four of its nurses was trained overseas, while another hospital revealed it employed nurses from 39 different nations on its wards. It is free to download from our online bookshop.

3. The King's Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through grants. We are a major resource to people working in health, offering leadership and education courses; seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; and conference and meeting facilities.