Health chiefs fill 95% of nursing vacancies - and now want to becoming an ‘outstanding’ service

Hospital bosses have solved a major nurse recruitment issue
Hospital bosses have solved a major nurse recruitment issue

Health trust bosses say they are ‘very proud’ after filling almost all the nurse vacancies they had at the start of the year.

Hartlepool Council audit and governance committee was told North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust had 90 vacancies for nurses at the beginning of 2018.

Health trust bosses say that, as of this month, almost 95% of the roles have been filled - with just five vacancies remaining.

They said a number of factors contributed to the new staff including the organisation’s ‘good’ Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating at the end of last year.

Lindsey Robertson, deputy director of nursing, patient safety and quality for the trust, said: “We’re really, really proud of the work we’ve done, we just need to hold on to it.

“What we’ve got to do now is keep them in work and keep them happy so we can excel as a team.

“We’ve done several things; we centralised recruitment and held recruitment centres monthly.

“We’ve also held skill station events, which have been a bit more informally.

“There was, at the end of last year, the good CQC rating, which has spread a culture that it’s a good place to work.

“Now we just need to develop it for right across the trust.”

The trust said it also shows it does not require agency nurses to fill roles.

Members of the committee praised the work of the trust in filling the posts.

Coun Lesley Hamilton said: “It’s a fantastic result for the trust.”

Chair Coun Brenda Loynes said: “That’s absolutely great news for the area.”

The news was revealed as part of a presentation showing the work of the trust in achieving its ‘good’ CQC rating at the end of last year.

The trust was subject to both announced and unannounced inspections of its services in the last two months of 2017.

Three of the care services were inspected: emergency care, in hospital care and maternity services.

The trust was previously rated ‘requires improvement’ in 2015, before improving to receive the ‘good’ rating in 2017.

It was rated ‘good’ in all five departments: safety, effectiveness, caring, response and well-led.

Health bosses at the trust now said they have been given 11 areas in which they aim to improve to reach ‘outstanding’ level.

Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporting Service