‘Nursing crisis’ sparks recruitment drive

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust premises at Hellingly. The trust has launched a recruitment drive for more nurses
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust premises at Hellingly. The trust has launched a recruitment drive for more nurses

A ‘nursing crisis’ at an NHS trust running mental health and learning disabilities services in Sussex has sparked a national recruitment campaign.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is looking to take on 150 nurses after figures showed that £6.4m was spent in the past year on temporary staff, with £2.3m of this paid in agency fees alone.

There are vacancies for qualified, newly qualified and experienced nurses, and in order to attract and keep the right staff the trust has made some changes to the offer for nurses as it looks to address a ‘nursing crisis’, a spokesman said.

These changes include extra money for staff joining ‘hard to recruit’ areas, help with moving into the area with the first three months’ rent paid, a place on a preceptorship scheme, and a personal development package including coaching, mentoring, and executive shadowing opportunities, as well as fast track promotion opportunities.

Diane Hull, executive director of nursing and patient experience, said: “There are some excellent agency staff out there but we know care is better when it is done by staff who know the patients, know the staff and understand the organisation.

“This isn’t about money it’s about being sure we are giving patients across Sussex, Hampshire and Kent, the very best care. We can’t do that if we are wasting money by spending millions of pounds on agency fees alone. That money would be better spent on delivering high quality patient care, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Sussex Partnership is not alone as nationally it is estimated the NHS spends more than £250m a month on agency staffing.

In an effort to drive down costs and drive up care the trust is concentrating on attracting nurses from across the country to help deliver excellent healthcare.

It runs mental health and learning disabilities services for all ages in Sussex as well as services for children and young people in Hampshire and Kent.

Full details are available at www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/nurses

For an informal chat about the opportunities available Diane Hull on 07825 229195 or Mark Pattison, a lead nurse, on 07899 995090.

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