Classmates, colleagues and partners: CLCH couple on their love of community nursing and each other
Since 2016, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust (CLCH) has recruited and supported over 300 international nurses, with new staff arriving at the start of each month.
CLCH’s International Recruitment Programme supports staff through their Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), inductions, accommodation and career development, so that they can settle into life in the UK with ease and enjoy spending time with loved ones. Mary and Patrick Castaneda’s story is testament to this.
Mary and Patrick Castaneda met whilst working in a hospital in the Philippines and fell in love before they wed in 2016.
After hearing about CLCH’s International Recruitment Programme, Mary Castaneda applied and was recruited as a district nurse six years ago.
‘Having heard so much positive feedback about Central London Community Healthcare Trust from friends back home, I decided to join the trust through the International Recruitment Programme. CLCH has been so supportive of me since my arrival here in the UK.’
Just like he fell in love with Mary, after hearing about the work his wife was doing at CLCH, Patrick soon was to fall in love with community nursing when he joined the team just one year later.
‘She would describe her days on the job and the things that she did during work, which made me realise that this job would also be a perfect fit for me.
‘This pushed me to apply to the same Trust and work in the same field as Mary.’
Working in the same profession, the couple support each other by sharing ideas and advice, and they both recently completed the District Nursing Course, progressing in their careers, together.
‘Completing the course would not have been possible without my wife's support. I am thankful that she was there to help me as my classmate, my colleague and my partner in life.’
‘Our colleagues who saw us start as international recruits and go on through the District Nursing Course were all glad that we finished it. Every time I meet and see them, I can feel their genuine happiness in what we have accomplished as a couple.’
Mary has recently been promoted to the role of District Nurse Team Leader in North Kensington and Chelsea. The couple also welcomed a son into their family four years ago.
‘It is interesting to have the same role as my husband. It is fulfilling to know that we are providing a positive experience for the patients we look after.
‘We have the same interest at heart and we are both committed to looking after our patients and colleagues.’
‘We do not talk about work at home and as much as possible, we separate our personal lives from our job.’
This Valentine’s Day, the Castanedas will enjoy a relaxed evening in with the family. Mary said:
‘As a working couple, we do not normally go out as we prefer to stay in. We enjoy a home cooked meal with our son and watch some of our favourite movies after.
‘Patrick usually gives me beautiful flowers and chocolates for our boy!’
Zoe Rothwell, International Recruitment Lead at CLCH supports nurses through the process of arriving in the UK and working at CLCH. She said:
‘Our international nurses are caring and compassionate, delivering quality care to their patients every day.
‘We know that they also need a strong support network around them to deliver that care. This is why the international recruitment programme supports our staff to protect those special connections with their loved ones as they develop and progress in their new roles.
‘The story of the Castanedas is a perfect example of the joys of joining CLCH and working in the community in our capital city.’