5 November 2021
Five Palestinian refugee nurses were officially welcomed to CNWL today by Chief Nurse Maria O’Brien and other senior members of staff.
We wanted to make the group - twin sisters Rawan and Yara Kassab, Rami Mansour, Mohammad Al Qanawan and Fayzeh Rachid – feel at home as they start on their career with CNWL.
During the event Maria led the group in Happy Birthday for Yara and Rawan who turned 21 when they arrived in the UK.
Divisional Director of Nursing, Kim Cox, added: “We are genuinely delighted you’re here because there’s a shortage of nurses here in London and we know that you’ve got the skills and experience that we need.”
The five joined under a programme developed by RefuAid, NHS England & Improvement (NHSEI), and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). The programme’s aim is for nurses from a refugee background to return to practice in the UK.
Each told the group about how grateful they were to be able to be given the chance to practice and spoke of the difficulties they had all experienced in finding work in Lebanon and the discrimination they had faced.
Among the five, Rawan said: “I wanted to live in a country where I know I will be treated equally and with respect, which is why I will always be thankful for the opportunity I was given where I can now actually live my life and continue with my education and my career.”
They have started work initially as healthcare assistants, while they complete some final tests before they can register as nurses with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Three of the recruits - Rawan, Yara and Fayzeh – are at St Pancras Hospital, while Rami and Mohammad - will go to the Hawthorn Intermediate Care Unit at Hillingdon Hospital.
We have put together a short video of the five, which you can see here, while more background about the five is here.