FNA-UK WELCOMES NEW PINOY RECRUITS
Wednesday 11 May 2022. Officers of FNA-UK welcomed new Filipino recruits to Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Gigi Yebra and Ariel Lanada, together with officers from the Filipino Community of Oxfordshire, hosted the 12 newly arrived nurses for an evening meal at the Acropolis Greek Taverna in Headington. The meal was generously funded by Kabayan Remit and Megaworld International who also attended.
Lio Lamar, one of the new arrivals, reflects on the event:
Moving to the UK as a first timer Overseas Foreign Worker (OFW), like me, is both exciting and nerve-wracking.
Even though I have travelled to other countries outside the Philippines for leisure, being a worker in a new country is a completely different experience. In addition, the entire process of getting to the UK went too fast for me. It only took less than 5 months from my application to my arrival, and I felt that I didn’t have enough time to prepare mentally and emotionally.
Now I understand what it feels like to be an OFW; the heavy feeling of summarizing your life in just two or three pieces of luggage and making the hard decision which things to bring with you to your new home and which to leave behind.
As I write this, I have only been in the UK for 4 days and I am already in love with my new home, Oxford! The weather is good (arriving in the middle of Spring), my new friends from my group or “cohort” are very fun to be with, and everyone has been very warm and welcoming so far.
But what stood out the most for me in my first few days here in Oxford, was the support that I and my group have received from the Filipino Nurses Association United Kingdom (FNA-UK) and the Filipino Community of Oxfordshire (FilCom Oxford) spearheaded by our beloved Mr. Ariel Lañada, the President and Chairman of FNAUK and FilCom Oxford, respectively.
Yesterday, our group was treated to a Greek feast where we met and were welcomed by other leaders of the organization. As a new OFW, it is very important to receive love and support from fellow Filipinos within the community, and FNA-UK and FilCom Oxford did exactly that for us (and more)! They made us feel that we are not alone in our new journey here in the UK and that our UK RN careers will only get better! They also reminded us of the importance of hard work and determination, but more so, the importance of “bayanihan” (helping other fellow Pinoys).
After the dinner, I went home feeling confident that I had made the right decision in moving to the UK, and Oxford to be exact. I know that I have a strong Filipino community that will support me and that I will never need to struggle on my own. And this is the best feeling a new OFW can ever ask for!
12 May 2022
FNA-UK Founding Director, Francis Fernando,
top 10 finalist for major international award.
The Inaugural Aster Guardians will be hosted in Dubai, on International Nurses Day, 12th May 2022.
09 May 2022
FNA-UK Proud winners of Best Poster Presention
Florence Nightingale Foundation Global and NHS England
International Nursing and Midwifery Associations in England - Celebration Event
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London - 28 April 2022
Full report to follow
4 May 2022
FNA-UK Interfaith Webinar
Filipinos No Longer "Othered"
Good news for all Filipino nurses working in the UK. We are not “othered” anymore! We can now finally get our ethnicity changed to “Filipino” both in ESR (electronic staff record) and NMC.
Why is this important?
By having our ethnicity identified in these national records, we are counted , heard and become more visible. This is a massive step in better understanding our lived experiences, our unique qualities and unique needs.
We can gain and lose our nationality with the passage of time, with the re-drawing of national borders, by marriage, by ancestry, by migration.
Ethnicity on the other hand….. sticks with us more permanently. It is the first thing many people notice about us. Living in a place where we don’t necessarily conform to the stereotypical demographic, it is often seen as a shorthand for the culture, region, traditions or collective memories mentioned above. It is our connection to our family, to the traditions that we are familiar with, to the foods we all grew up eating, to the many dialects we grew up hearing, to the filipino stories we grew up telling. And it will follow us no matter where we go.
So if you are due your appraisal or PDP meetings with your line managers, please include it in your agenda and request that your manager change your ethnicity in ESR to Filipino.
For NMC, you can do it yourself online.
Let us all get counted, let us all get visible, let us all say out loud I Am A Filipino! Please share this wonderful news and spread the hashtag #iamafilipino
Thank you to our 2 amazing filipino nurses at NHSE/I Jennifer Caguia and Louie Horne at WRES for their perseverance and ground work in making this happen.
Susie Lagrata, Secretary FNA-UK, 19 January 2022
FNA-UK Christmas Party 2021
Dear All, due to the uncertain situation regarding the new COVID-19 variant, and out of a sense of duty to protect our members and guests, but with a very heavy heart, the officers of FNA-UK have decided to postpone the Christmas Party and reschedule for a later date.
All bookings already made will be honoured for the rescheduled event and details of the new date will be circulated to the membership and posted on the website.
We are so sorry to disappoint you, but we are sure you will understand that, as a nursing association, we always have to err on the side of caution and safety.
6 December 2021
Nursing Times Awards 2021
Susie Mamangon Lagrata reports on the glittering event held on 27 October.
Innovation and Best Practice in Nursing and Midwifery! That was the central theme of this year's Nursing Times Awards. Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane London has never seen such a collection of amazing and inspiring nurse leaders in one night. The event was graced by trailblazers and inspiring leaders including England's CNO Ruth May, NMC's Chief Executive and Registrar Andrea Sutcliffe CBE and many many more. The Nursing Times Awards were judged by an esteemed panel of judges made up of leaders from the nursing and wider healthcare sector alongside several past award winners. Among these luminaries is FNA-UK's deputy secretary and NHS Supply Chain's Clinical Specialist Lead, Maya Aquino-Guerrero.
Filipino nurses are well represented during the night. Among the contingent is the power house of nurse leaders from FNA-UK including Susie Lagrata, Maya Aquino-Guererro, May Parsons, and Jose Ariel Lanada together with the formidable Chair of PNA-UK, Oliver Soriano. The night started with a warm and upbeat welcome by Nursing Times editor Steve Ford. Steve emphasized that although the Nursing Times Awards happen every year, this year is extra special. The past 18 months had been truly challenging for the nursing profession but on the same note, the past 18 months have also showcased the invaluable and incredible work of nurses. He also stated that the challenges posed by the pandemic were unprecedented and the impact on services and the profession continues - the nursing workforce efforts deserve everyone's thanks and recognition.
One of the main highlights of the night was when May Parsons, Modern Matron Education and Escalation at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHST and FNA-UK Regional Director, went on the stage for her speech. May or "gorgeous vaccine queen" as we fondly call her, gave the first dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the world outside the clinical trials. Since that momentous day, watched by millions of people around the world, May has been at the forefront of information dissemination and has been a beacon of renewed hope. In her speech, May stated how the vaccine heralded the beginning of renewed hope and that spark of light at the end of a very dark tunnel. She expressed her utmost gratitude to be given the honour and privilege to offer hope to everyone. May also highlighted the key role nurses have played, not just during the pandemic, but also in the successful rollout of the vaccine. She has also been in the midst of increasing the awareness on the benefits of getting vaccinated amongst colleagues from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds both here in the UK and in the Philippines.
There were 24 awards given out on the night and one of them is the much-coveted Nurse of the Year award. Amongst the top 8 shortlisted was FNA-UK President Jose Ariel Lanada. Ariel was nominated for his exemplary work as a Divisional Lead for Practice Development and Education at Oxford University Hospitals NHSFT. His nomination also paid tribute to his selfless work in community service. Some of his great initiatives includes providing hot meals to health care workers during the pandemic, in addition to running free professional development programmes for nurses through his role as President of FNA-UK including OSCE reviews, Enhancing Leadership workshops, and Interview Skills workshops. The category was won by Dianne Backhouse from Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Another proud moment was when Jamie Henry, a young Filipino nurse of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust was announced the winner of Rising Star Award!
HRH The Prince of Wales also made an appearance through a video message. In his video message, The Prince of Wales paid tribute to the tremendous work of nurses over the pandemic. He also paid homage to the extraordinary work and achievements of nurses even in "ordinary" times". In his own words, Price Charles managed to sum up what nursing is all about, "faced with the global pandemic, we have seen nurses meet a great challenge with even greater dedication, adapting swiftly to new circumstances while never failing to provide the routine care they do so brilliantly". The night was hosted by the beautiful Naga Munchetty, BBC Breakfast presenter, whose mere presence made the occasion glamorous and who skilfully created a relaxed ambiance for everyone at the same time. During the night, Naga proudly paid tribute to her parents who are both nurses. Her honest and heart-warming words resonated with and went straight to the hearts of everyone "not all nurses reach dizzyingly career highs such as getting an award, but you all need to remember that everyone matters... everything that you do matters"!
3 November 2021
Many congratulations to
on being appointed Director of Nursing
at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust,
thought to be the first nurse from the Philippines to hold a ‘very senior manager’ position in the NHS.
13 August 2021
Happy 1st Anniversary FNA-UK!
Celebrations in Oxford
A little later than originally planned because of COVID-19 restrictions, FNA-UK held its celebration of its 1st Anniversary at Jurys Inn, Oxford on Saturday 7 August 2021. Around 120 attendees were honoured to be joined by H.E. Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo and Mrs Lagdameo and other representatives from the Philippine Embassy in London. Masters of Ceremonies were Louie Horne and Susie Lagrata. The event was generously sponsored by Megaworld and Kabayan Remit.
7 August 2021
Francis Sioson was a Filipino nurse who worked in the Emergency Department at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. He sadly died in January 2020. In this touching tribute, former colleague Janice Morgan remembers her friend.
Francis Sioson was a fantastic nurse, his smile lit up any room and he was the most caring person I have ever met. His mum Emelyn worked in ED for many years, and it was so wonderful to see Francis start working here when he came over to the UK.
Unfortunately in late 2018 Francis suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, which required emergency surgery as well as specialist surgery at a different hospital. After a lengthy recovery he was able to return to work mid 2019. Then unfortunately again, in Dec 2019, Francis suffered another ruptured aneurysm and unfortunately passed away in Jan 2020.
I want to pass on his fantastic legacy.
Francis was at the centre of our Team ED family. He was a beautiful soul and one of the hardest working nurses, his death left a void in our team that will not be filled. Francis bought so much to our team, the department and to the people lucky enough to have met him. His smile was genuine and full of warmth and he always showed such respect to his friends, colleagues and strangers alike. After the loss of Francis the department and our staff made a pledge to #bemoreFrancis, to try and be all the things we loved in Francis.
All the staff in ED now wear a #bemoreFrancis badge and all new starters read the pledge.
Francis was so very kind, he cared deeply about every single person who crossed his path, he was genuine, caring and his work ethic was second to none - it was difficult to keep him still at times. He was so proud of his profession and loved being a nurse. Francis was an amazing nurse and he had worked so hard to get to where he was, he was an inspiration to all of us with his positive attitude even on the hardest and busiest days. Nothing was too much trouble for Francis, no job was too small or too big, he took everything within his stride with a smile on his face.
Most importantly Francis never left anyone behind, a five minute chat with Francis would make you feel noticed and heard. There is an old saying – 'people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’ - and Francis made us feel better for and about ourselves. He taught us to be grateful for the present moment and the importance of taking care of each other. No matter what, and despite any of his own problems, Francis was always smiling, positive and happy and this bought comfort to so many of us, and of course to the patients he nursed. We were lucky to have had a little part of Francis in our lives and his legacy will live on in our department.
Francis made the world a better place, so we ask you to join us in our pledge to #bemoreFrancis.
Everyone Francis worked with can share stories about how he made them feel. I remember when I was pregnant, he said to me that I must be having a girl (I didn’t know at the time the gender of the baby). He said ‘you look so beautiful Sister, you must be having a girl’, and now everytime I look at my daughter I think about what he said and smile.
We now have a plaque dedicated to Francis in our department alongside a picture of him.
21 July 2021
In memory of
Happy 1st Anniversary
Many congratulations to FNA-UK Founding Director
on his award as
Compassionate and Inclusive Leader – Initiative
at the National BAME Health and Care Awards 2021
The citation says that Francis "demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting underrepresented groups, challenging those in authority to take action and develop practical support for BAME colleagues"
15 April 2021
This news article is currently circulating on different media outlets worldwide and on all social media platforms. FNA-UK have been in touch with the Philippine Embassy here in the UK to get clarification of the issue.
As it stands, the Filipino Nurses Association United Kingdom would like to take this moment to acknowledge all your valuable contributions and sacrifices in this once-in-a-generation health crisis. FNA-UK thank you for your resilience, your strength, your service, and your kindness.
Thank you for being the best in what you do and bringing pride to our country!
Marka ng Maskara
Filipino healthcare workers' accounts of what the marks left by face masks mean to them
Marka ng Maskara is an initiative, recently started by FNA-UK Secretary Susie Lagrata, to increase the profile of Filipino Nurses here in UK by telling their stories and experiences during the pandemic. Marka ng Maskara aims to capture the varied stories of our colleagues from many heroic, brave, uplifting and admirable to sad and heartbreaking.
go to the Marka ng Maskara page
GUIDE FOR INTERNATIONAL NURSES DURING COVID-19
Published 1 February 2021
This resource, created by NHS England and NHS Improvement, with the support of NHS Employers and the unions, provides a collection of national resources and guidance to support international nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
FNA-UK SUPPORT TO OSCE CANDIDATES
Testimonial from newly Registered Nurse Joseph Oliverio about the support he received from FNA-UK during his preparation for his OSCE examination.
10 February 2021
ONCE A NURSE, ALWAYS A NURSE!
(FNA-UK meets non-NMC registered Filipino licensed nurses)
by Susie Mamangon Lagrata
2 February 2021
Being a nurse is full of delights and demands. The stress and strain of providing care as a nurse are worth the lives that are touched. Once a nurse, always a nurse! An ethos echoed by the group of non-NMC registered nurses from Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital (TASH), and they will stop at nothing to get the chance to be registered nurses here in the UK. Brought together by an amazing nurse leader, Wilfred Cadelina (nurse manager in TASH), affectionately called “Kuya Wil” by everybody, FNA-UK officers led by President Ariel Lanada met this group of dedicated non-NMC registered HCW’s all of whom are currently working as health care assistants in the UK.
The meeting started with a brief “getting -to know” session. It’s a humbling experience hearing how they all bravely faced and overcame their challenges in their journey to get here. But that journey goes on as they all continue to navigate the path to achieving that much coveted NMC registration. Their desire and passion to become part of the UK’s healthcare workforce landscape as registered nurses emanated from every single one of them. It was also equally inspiring to hear the story of their leader, Kuya Wil. Wilfred is a brave COVID-19 survivor. No eyes were dry upon hearing Wilfred’s account of his survival. We were all unanimous in saying that there is a reason why he survived. God has a mission for him, and he is diligently doing it to the Glory of God. Wilfred does not just advocate and provide a voice for his fellow Filipino health care workers at TASH....he also leads them and guides them to help make their journey towards being a registered nurse a smooth and easy one. An aim echoed by FNA-UK.
FNA-UK wholeheartedly and tirelessly extends the hand of support to nurses and those who are aspiring to become registered nurses here in the UK. This meeting was not the first time that FNA-UK met with non-NMC registered Filipino nurses licensed in the Philippines. A few months ago, FNA-UK also met with a group of non-NMC Filipino licensed nurses from all over the UK who FNA-UK gathered as part of FNA-UK’s outreach program. At both meetings, our interim President explained the opportunities in the horizon, including the initiative of and fund allocation from Chief Nursing Officer of England to get this program going. President Lanada also gave various tips on how to traverse the road to become a registered nurse easily. After that, a question and answer followed where the attendees had the opportunity to ask questions to all officers’ present including Susie Lagrata, Marion Mangalindan, Shawie De Vera and Rose Gargarita.
The meeting ended with everybody feeling inspired, energised and hopeful. Meetings like this are truly a prime example of how the spirit of Bayanihan lives on wherever Pinoys may be and whatever the circumstances may be.
A Message from FNA-UK to everyone
21 January 2021
As the pandemic continues to take a toll on our society, FNA-UK reminds all - especially frontliners - not to lose hope. Be kind to others and to yourselves and inspire one another.
Together we can ...
2020..... A Year Like No Other!
by Susie Mamangon Lagrata
5 January 2021
No doubt a lot of us are reflecting on this challenging year and shaking our heads. How long is this going to last, and how much more do we have to deal with?
Some of us even might be having a hard time seeing any reason to be positive. After all, we’ve had our freedom to gather restricted. Our ability to live the life we envision for ourselves has been put on hold. People are dying, hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients, and a number of people just can’t seem to grasp that we’re in the middle of a crisis.
As the UK faced a deadly trifecta of pandemic, unprecedented international health crisis and major nursing shortage, many of the gaps are being filled by thousands of Filipino migrant workers, whose skills put them on the front lines. At the same time, many more are doing similarly difficult work outside of the spotlight as caregivers and personal support workers in individual homes and long-term care facilities.... most of us if not all of us have seen deadly outbreaks. The pandemic has highlighted a crucial fact that Filipino nurses are one of the backbones of the UK's health and social care system. But the pandemic also highlighted the vulnerabilities of BAME groups including the Filipinos as it has become very apparent that Filipino Nurses experience specific forms of vulnerability during this ongoing pandemic evidenced by the disproportionate mortality.
While our community was shaken, our resilience and faith in God were not – which are two main factors that helped us navigate this period of danger and uncertainty. Born from necessity, a sliver of hope surfaced through this crisis. The Filipino Nurses Association - UK or FNA-UK was born! As a collective voice, we became a force to be reckoned with. As a collective voice, we empowered each other to speak up to say that as a community, we don’t want to just survive.....we want to grow, thrive but above all we want to LIVE! Filipinos are well known to never complain and boy did we not for a very long time. We often tend to keep quiet and just say, ‘We’re okay, we got this job". But in this trying time, we realised that we have to speak up and to speak louder this time. And in the long term, our community, the FNA-UK will continue to be vocal in challenging systemic issues, will continue to empower each other through training and development, will continue to raise the profile of the amazing work that Filipino nurses and all Filipino healthcare workers here in the UK do.
Happy New Year everyone and here's hoping and praying that 2021 will be a better year for all of us! God Bless us all!