The extent of the staffing crisis within the NHS has made headlines today, with as many as 51% of nurses and midwives leaving the profession in just 4 years. For the first time ever, the Royal College of Nursing figures reveal more have left the register than joined in 2016/17. Long hours, overstretched resources, a shortage of qualified staff and a pay cap all add to the frustration for staff.
This month the Royal College of Nursing’s Chief Executive and General Secretary, Janet Davies, stated there are 40,000 nursing vacancies in England. The Health Service Journal has reported that 96% of hospitals in the UK have nursing shortages.With bursaries for student nurses recently having been scrapped, The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have today called on the Government to scrap the pay cap as a matter of urgency to stem the loss of talent from the profession.
While the shortage of doctors and nurses is a national issue, it is one Northamptonshire is determined to tackle. Four healthcare providers are hoping that a groundbreaking recruitment campaign will focus on attracting professionals to their region instead.
Rather than competing for talent, ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ unites the University of Northampton, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital, Kettering General Hospital and St Andrew’s Healthcare, a leading charity providing specialist mental healthcare in a joint bid to address their recruitment needs. This joined-up, trail blazing approach is a model the organisations’ leaders hope will be replicated elsewhere in the NHS.
‘Best of Both Worlds’ is a first of its kind recruitment campaign, which hopes to attract doctors and nurses to relocate to live and work in Northamptonshire, and aims to put Northampton, Kettering and Northamptonshire firmly on the map as a top destination for new and experienced medical and nursing professionals to develop their careers.
The campaign will dispel any misconceptions people may have that Northamptonshire is in the North, rather than the heart of England and that Kettering is in the UK, not in Ohio in the USA and located just one hour from London, Oxford and Birmingham. It will also showcase the diverse career opportunities and benefits of working and living in this beautiful county, such as the good schools, the great lifestyle, affordable housing, easy commuting and great transport links.
A ‘Best of Both World’s microsite is supporting the campaign, hosting career advertisements and information for doctors and nurses. Interviews and stories from doctors and nurses who have relocated and are enjoying living and working in Northamptonshire will also be featured.
The University of Northampton is a leading university for nursing training and a key part of the campaign will be to encourage student nurses to build their careers in Northamptonshire.
Dr Steve O’Brien, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Society, University of Northampton, said:
“We pride ourselves at the University of Northampton with providing first class nurses through our partner hospitals. We look forward to enhancing this and making sure Northamptonshire benefits from these professionals.”
While each hospital has vacancies for doctors and nurses, they all offer different specialist areas, their own unique cultures and training and development opportunities – by not competing for talent and focusing instead on all the benefits within the region, the skills pool for the area will be rejuvenated.