Nurses not put off by hospital review

By Ian Dipple Friday 22 February 2013 Updated: 22/02 10:04

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NURSES are not being put off from applying for jobs at the Alexandra Hospital despite ongoing discussions about its future.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has been under intense media and public scrutiny since last June when the Joint Services Review announced proposals which potentially could have seen the Woodrow Drive hospital downgraded to just an outpatients and diagnostics centre or closed completely.

Hospital bosses, politicians and Save the Alex campaigners have all previously raised concerns about the impact of the uncertainty of the review on staff morale and the Trust's ability to recruit.

But figures show the Trust is still receiving about 30 applications for each newly qualified nursing post.

Bev Edgar, the Trust's interim director of human resources, said: "We have been concerned the media coverage created by the JSR around the Redditch site could have a negative impact but we have analysed the data around nurse recruitment and there is no shortage of candidates applying and the number of applications from people wanting to come and work for the Trust is probably running as high as it's ever been," she said.

"We are very encouraged by the fact, for nursing in particular, the Trust is seen as a great place to work and we would encourage more people to apply."

But she also confirmed the Trust is struggling to recruit middle grade doctors in certain specialities around women's and children's care and emergency medicine, with 23 full-time jobs currently unfilled. A shortage of middle grade doctors was one of the reasons for starting the JSR process.

There are also about 11 training grade posts and 12 consultant jobs unfilled.

Ms Edgar said they were trying hard to fill the vacancies and were working with workforce management firm HCL, holding recruitment days at both the Worcestershire Royal and the Alex, attending the Royal College Conference for Emergency Medicine and new marketing measures.

"It is really challenging but it's a national shortage, everybody is experiencing vacancies, there's just not enough being trained."

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