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28.07.17

A joined-up approach to recruitment

Source: NHE Jul/Aug 2017

Andrew Belcher, clinical resource planning manager at Northampton General Hospital, explains how healthcare providers in his county have come together collectively to address the skills crisis.

The shortage of nurses and doctors is a national issue. The Royal College of Nursing’s chief executive and general secretary, Janet Davies, recently revealed there are 40,000 nursing vacancies in England, with 96% of hospitals in the UK having nursing shortages. It was also reported that GP recruitment has slumped by 20%, adding to the pressures on A&E doctors because people have trouble accessing a GP. 

In Northamptonshire, four leading NHS healthcare providers have partnered with the University of Northampton to collectively address the skills crisis. 

Northampton General Hospital has partnered with the University of Northampton, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS FT, Kettering General Hospital and St Andrew’s Healthcare to launch the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ recruitment campaign. 

Together, we are promoting the diverse career opportunities for doctors, nurses and midwives across Northamptonshire and encouraging people to relocate from across the UK to enjoy some of the best training opportunities in the country. 

At Northampton General Hospital, we have vacancies for many nurses, trust grade doctors and consultants across various specialties including A&E, oncology, radiology, respiratory and orthopaedics. We also have nursing vacancies across Theatres and Surgery wards, as well as medical wards. 

As a leading university for nursing training, the University of Northampton will be encouraging student nurses to build their careers in Northamptonshire as a key part of the campaign. 

Northampton General Hospital provides acute care services for 380,000 people. We’re an accredited cancer centre, with a recently opened chemotherapy suite, and offer wonderful clinical and non-clinical training facilities for doctors and nurses. We also have some of the most state-of-the-art equipment in our radiology and histopathology departments. A key focus for us is the education, training and development of nurses and doctors. 

Pathway to Excellence 

Carolyn Fox, our director of nursing, midwifery and patient services and board director, has pioneered many new initiatives for nurses. Led by Carolyn, we were the first UK hospital to sign up to the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center scheme, ‘Pathway to Excellence’. This programme seeks to raise nursing standards and boost nursing recognition. In the USA, they really celebrate the work of their nurses and we are emulating that here. 

We’re integrating innovative ways of thinking into our strategy and culture. For example, on Nurses Day, Carolyn organised a special breakfast to recognise the work of the night nurses. The day nurses and caterers came in early to make it in order to say, ‘thank you’. Such gestures don’t cost the earth, but make a huge difference to how valued people feel. We are also one of the first hospitals to introduce the Daisy Award, which honours and celebrates the skilful compassionate care of nurses and midwives. 

We also offer a retraining course with the University of Northampton. The return to professional practice lets qualified nurses who have had a career break enhance their knowledge and skills so they can confidently return to professional practice. 

There are also many opportunities across the county. Kettering General Hospital is known for its friendly atmosphere and career development prospects. It has a brilliant cardiology 24/7 service and its respiratory department has won national awards. 

For mental health and learning disability nurses, St Andrew’s Healthcare is an excellent career choice. This award-winning, highly specialised mental health charity provides care for people with complex needs, and its college for young patients is rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. They are looking to develop nurses into future clinical and operational leaders. 

At Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS FT, with its diverse workforce delivering over 130 services at over 50 sites, there are many interesting vacancies at all levels, including community nursing, mental health and learning disability services.  

We hope this joined-up approach to recruitment will attract many doctors and nurses to the county, and that other NHS trusts can replicate this campaign to address their own skills shortages.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

W: www.bestofbothworlds.uk.net

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